VMware Brings the Cloud to Developers' Desktops

VMware today opened the third chapter in its evolving Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) story with the beta release of Micro Cloud Foundry, a complete version of its Cloud Foundry PaaS designed to run on developers' PCs or Macs.

"We're really focused on the developer with this release," said VMware product marketing director Dave McJannet. "We want to make it as simple as possible for them to build complete cloud apps locally, without having to install and configure databases or other middleware components. We think this will of great interest to the developer community as a simple way of building applications and embracing that PaaS experience on their own laptops."

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based virtualization vendor announced the initial Cloud Foundry release in April, billing it as the industry's first open PaaS offering and a "new generation of application platform, architected specifically for cloud computing environments." IDC analyst Al Hilwa saw the Cloud Foundry release as an important strategic move that positioned VMware as "another emerging pole for Java developers."

The Micro Cloud Foundry is supporting what VMware calls "high-productivity frameworks," including its own Spring for Java, but also Scala, Grails, and other JVM-based frameworks; Ruby on Rails; the Node.js JavaScript engine; and the MongoDB, MySQL, and Redis application services. The company plans to provide additional support for VMware's vFabric cloud app platform in future releases, McJannet said.

Java developers write code for the Micro Cloud Foundry in the Eclipse-based SpringSource Tool Suite (STS). Rails and Node.js developers use a command-line version with VMware's VMC client for scripting routine procedures.

All the frameworks supported on Micro Cloud are also supported on Cloud Foundry, McJannet said. "Which means that, say, a Java developer using the SpringSource Tool Suite can deploy his or her app to a local Micro Cloud Foundry instance or to, all within the STS."

This release comes on the heels of VMware's announcement of, a public cloud PaaS environment, and, an open source PaaS project. In the three-plus months since its launch, the open source project has received approximately 80 different pull requests from its budding community to add support for languages such as Erlang, JRuby, PHP and Python, as well as data services such as the Neo4J. (Erlang and Neo4J are now supported; JRuby, PHP, and Python are in process, McJannet said.)

The free beta of VMware's Micro Cloud Foundry is available for download here.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].