Iron Foundry, Uhuru Go After Same Goal

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2011-12-15 Print this article Print


Launching two days apart, Iron Foundry and Uhuru .NET Services for Cloud Foundry are going after the same goal of taking .NET apps to the cloud. Fitzgerald said he believes Tier 3's offering may be more suited to service providers and Uhuru's may be more for software developers. Khaki said Uhuru is "not a competing effort to Tier 3. We can work together collaboratively."

A post on the Cloud Foundry blog describes how the .NET support works:

"Unlike other frameworks supported by Cloud Foundry, .NET requires a Windows based DEA running an IIS web server. An important part of the newly open sourced code is the support for Windows-based DEAs. Note that this implementation requires customers to bring their own Windows licenses for each Windows-based DEA. Cloud Foundry itself continues to run on Linux and does not require Windows licenses, but manages the Windows-based DEAs as it does any other DEA. 

".NET developers can access any application service or data store within the system, and support for Windows-based DEAs also opens the door for Windows-based applications service such as SQL Server. The end result is enterprise customers will have a common model for deploying and scaling both Java and .NET applications, as well as the newer frameworks supported by Cloud Foundry."

A DEA is a Droplet Execution Agent. Google engineer Ilya Grigorik says the DEA is the supervisor process responsible for provisioning new applications: It receives the query from the CloudController, sets up the appropriate platform, exports the environment variables and launches the app server.

Meanwhile, Bellevue, Wash.-based Tier 3's Iron Foundry contribution consists of the three key components required for developers to quickly leverage the open-source project for their own PaaS implementation or to leverage Iron Foundry to deploy applications to the cloud. In addition to a core .NET Framework fork of Cloud Foundry, which Tier 3 is committing to keep in sync with the main Cloud Foundry branch, developers can also access for both a Windows version of Cloud Foundry Explorer as well as a Visual Studio Plug-in for Cloud Foundry. Tier 3 will also make the core code available on GitHub under an Apache 2.0 license.

"At Tier 3, we believe that PaaS is so universal and so foundational to the adoption of cloud for Web applications that it should be an open source framework," said Jared Wray, CTO at Tier 3, in a statement. "As enterprises accelerate the deployment of their mission-critical applications to the cloud, the need for a .NET-based Cloud Foundry PaaS in the marketplace was acute. As fans of the open source nature of Cloud Foundry-and as a .NET based-cloud platform ourselves-we were excited to take on this opportunity to support the enterprise developer and open source communities and to foster innovation for the cloud."

"Tier 3's contribution of .NET Framework support is another powerful example of the open Cloud Foundry ecosystem in action," said Jerry Chen, vice president of cloud and application services at VMware, in a statement. "The availability of the .NET Framework on Cloud Foundry will greatly expand .NET developers' ability to deploy their applications across a wide variety of clouds."

Commenting on Iron Foundry, Sacha Labourey, CEO of CloudBees, maker of the CloudBees open PaaS, told eWEEK: "It is interesting in the sense that it is the first PaaS that bridges the gap between .NET and the rest of the computing world, so that's definitely interesting. Now, does that make any difference and any sense? I don't think so. Microsoft is implementing their PaaS. As anything Microsoft-related, we will have to wait for the 3.0 release to see something good, but they will get there and Microsoft customers will want to use THAT PaaS, not what Tier 3 thinks a .NET PaaS should be. So it is a good, artistic 'performance,' but hardly something that will shake up the market."

In addition to the core Iron Foundry code project, Tier 3 is also committing substantial support to the Iron Foundry community to help contributors and implementers. To ensure that contributors have access to engineering and technical support, Tier 3 is committing time from Tier 3's own expert engineers via the community forums. Additionally, to accelerate adoption, Tier 3 is donating a full test bed environment via a "try it now" feature on consisting of one Web and one database instance per developer for 90 days. The test bed is powered by Tier 3's enterprise-class cloud platform and requires only email address, password and acceptance of the Tier 3 PaaS EULA. Developers who "forward to a friend" to promote the test bed can receive an additional month, the company said.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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