Appfog buys Nodester to strengthen its Node.js bench


Appfog, the provider of a multi-language, multi-cloud platform as a service, is buying Nodester to beef up its Node.js capabilities.

Company CEO Lucas Carlson said the deal — terms of which were not disclosed — will give the company deeper and broader Node.js support and access to more Node.js developers.

“Nodester has one of the biggest communities Node programmers and Node.js was the fastest growing language on Appfog” he said in an interview. Node. js is a server-side, event-driven programming language popular among developers writing web applications.

For Portland, OR-based Appfog, it’s all about aggregating those developers — whether they code in PHP, Java, Node.js or what-have-you — and making it easier for them to run their applications on any cloud infrastructure.

Carlson says Appfog’s secret sauce is its ability to let you take a given application that’s running on Amazon(s amzn) and move it to HP’s(s hpq) cloud or vice versa with the click of a button. That is a company’s first line of defense against cloud lock-in, Carlson likes to say.  (Although clearly, you would have to lock in using Appfog’s PaaS to do that, but I quibble.)

In 2010, Appfog started out as PHP-focused PHP Fog but has since morphed into a “polyglot” PaaS that supports Ruby, Java, Node.js — about 12 frameworks in all. Next up? Java Enterprise Edition (J2EE), Go and Perl languages.

The problem with PaaS is that too many companies still see them as too expensive and as a possible source of vendor lock-in, Carlson said. His pitch is that developers can write and run their applications on Appfog for less than they would pay to run them on something like Amazon or Rackspace’s infrastructure alone.

As GigaOM reported in July, Appfog sets prices based on RAM alone and anything up to 2 GB of RAM is free. There are monthly plans for 4 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB for additional charges which include all the underlying infrastructure fees and for which Appfog bills the customer. That’s pretty good account control.  Then, if the company wants to move from one set of infrastructure to another it can do so, provided Appfog remains the intermediary.

Appfog, which itself builds atop Cloud Foundry(s crm) APIs, competes with Heroku(s CRM), Engine Yard and other PaaSes. This acquisition could be a sign of more PaaS consolidation to come.

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