VMware has announced the launch of Cloud Foundry, an open source platform-as-a-service allowing developers to build applications with a variety of frameworks for use on public and private cloud systems.
Cloud Foundry will initially be run by VMware as a public cloud service, and the company is recruiting partners to host similar public clouds for developers.
VMware will also sell a commercial version for enterprises to use in private cloud networks, and a micro version will be available by the second half of the year for developers to run on a single system.
"This represents the best work of several generations of programmers," said VMware chief executive Paul Maritz.
"Are new clouds going to be like California hotels? Are we going back to the mainframe era? The problem of developer lock-in needs to get solved in an open source manner."
Cloud Foundry will initially allow development in Spring for Java, Rails and Sinatra for Ruby and Node.js, with Grails also supported. Maritz said that more frameworks will be added over time to deal with the host of new options for developers.
The system also supports MySQL, MongoDB and Redis application frameworks, and VMware is planning a similar expansion of the platform.
A major part of the technology behind the platform came from VMware's acquisition of SpringSource in 2009. SpringSource founder Rod Johnson said that the Cloud Foundry platform will change the middleware market by allowing open innovation.
"Middleware hasn't evolved, and frankly this is the product of people who come from a different era," he said. "Open platform-as-a-service is the solution to middleware complexity, and it gives cloud developers a bill of rights."
VMware's move is in part motivated by a need to stay relevant in the cloud space, according to Chris Wolf, a research vice president at Gartner.
Microsoft, Citrix, and Oracle are all modifying their hypervisors and application stacks to work with more effectively with their own software, and VMware risks being squeezed out, the analyst explained.
"Right now VMware is moving forward as an enabler to cloud service providers and is doing well selling infrastructure and associated management software," he said.
"By hosting some of its own cloud services, VMware can now test and perfect new innovations at an enterprise scale - all before releasing new software to end user organisations and provider partners.
"With Cloud Foundry, VMware is making a significant investment to further seed the open platform-as-a-service community with expectations that it can grow to rival Microsoft's .NET and Azure."
Delays to the roll-out of age verification for adult websites hasn't stopped government from considering extending them to more websites
Bluehole confirms rumours that Playstation 4 port is coming on 7 December
Atmospheric iodine works as a significant sink of tropospheric ozone, nullifying the harmful pollutant
A temperature rise of just 1.8° C would melt major ice sheets