CloudBees goes premium with pay-per-use Java PaaS

CloudBees, the Java-focused Platform-as-a-Service company, is now offering a paid “Premium” version of its [email protected] PaaS offering. CloudBees, it appears, is trying to gain a foothold in the PaaS space while other Java-focused (s orcl)  efforts are still getting underway.

The new, paid version provides a number of benefits over the free version, including access to more computing resources, flexibility in auto-scaling and clustering, and advanced security capabilities. CloudBees is a relatively small company that just emerged in November, but it has been very active. Led by a team of JBoss veterans, it has since bought potential competitor Stax Networks, moved its platform into general availability, and expanded its usefulness into private VMware- and OpenStack-based clouds. As of today, it’s probably the most-advanced Java-focused PaaS offering on the market in terms of maturity.

As opposed to .NET and Ruby, which have relatively mature PaaS options in the forms of Microsoft (s msft) Windows Azure for .NET and Engine Yard and Heroku for Ruby, many Java efforts are still in the beta phase or look more like vaporware. CumuLogic and Red Hat’s (s rht) OpenShift are among the products still in beta, as are multi-language offerings such as Cloud Foundry and DotCloud, while the VMforce collaboration between VMware (s vmw) and (s crm) has yet to materialize.

Being the first to charge Java developers for a PaaS offering doesn’t necessarily indicate success, but it lets CloudBees distinguish itself. The company already claims more than 4,500 applications, and hopes its maturity will attract even more as enterprise developers start deploying new applications in the cloud. However, as we’ll discuss at Structure 2011 in a couple of weeks, there are still plenty of obstacles that will need to be overcome before PaaS can become a mainstream option for application platforms.

Image courtesy of Flickr user miheco.