Dr. Nic Williams, a “developer’s developer” who was also VP of engineering at Engine Yard, is on to new things and a new Platform as a Service. He’s founded Stark & Wayne, a consultancy that will focus on helping companies deploy the Cloud Foundry PaaS that VMware spun off to the Pivotal Initiative.
Williams appears tightly aligned with Cloud Foundry — one of two customers mentioned on his web page is the Pivotal Initiative and he is working out of the Pivotal Labs office in San Francisco. Pivotal Labs, now part of EMC, is contributing technology to the Pivotal Initiative. Confused? Sorry.
Stark & Wayne is thus far a one-man show. According to Williams blog post, the company name comes from “the two most famous fictional tool creators – Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne. Every developer can be a super hero. You just need the right tools. Batmobile optional.”
The goal of the startup is to help companies adopt PaaSes. And that’s important — many developers within companies love the freedom and flexibility of building and deploying their applications on a third party pay-as-you-go platform but often their corporate IT overlords are not so enamored of the model. That’s because sticky questions arise if, for example, your PaaS of choice goes away.
Per Williams’ blog post announcing his move:
“If you’ve used Heroku for your pet projects, then we want to bring you Cloud Foundry for your work projects. We also want to work with you on your projects. If your workplace cares about continuously improving development and operations, then you qualify.”
VMware pushed Cloud Foundry as an open-source foundation for other PaaSes like AppFog, Uhuru, Stackato, and others. Presumably the Pivotal Initiative will continue down that path although it’s not saying. Salesforce.com’s Heroku is another market leader. It is unclear how much traction Engine Yard has relatively speaking although Oracle bought a stake in it in November.