The news broke just a little while ago with a few blog posts. One by Stephen Herrod (VMware’s CTO) on the basic strategy of why VMware is becoming an “Open” PaaS provider.
Another by SpringSource’s Rod Johnson (founder) around the architecture and the mention of leveraging the Force.com Database (both for existing data such as credentials and account data, and for storing new data from new applications.)
Force.com also has one blog post accessible, while a bit more short on real content, does purport the ability for developers to see a 5X increase in productivity! There is supposed to be an additional post, however it is not “online” yet.
Is this revolutionary? Not in my opinion, it is more evolutionary. VMware wants to compete with the likes of Microsoft and Google. Microsoft appears to be in their sites with this directly as this would seem to mirror the Microsoft Azure strategy and platform pretty well. Microsoft does have Java bindings to talk to Azure, I wonder if VMware will have .NET bindings to talk to their PaaS offering?
Update 1: In thinking this through, I came to a realization. When is Oracle going to make their PaaS move? They have all of the components necessary to make a PaaS solution. Think about it, with Sun they have Java, Glassfish, etc. and with Oracle they have Oracle and MySQL DB (hence the software components). Hardware wise, they have the Sun equipment for the hardware and both Sun and Oracle have Datacenters. The only question that remains in my mind is WHEN will this happen?
Update 2: The money for Spring/VMware is when you want to move out of the PaaS Cloud and into vClouds, local vSpehere, or elsewhere. You will need Licenses and Support for Spring and VMware!!!! On the Force.com side, if you put any reliance on the Force.com DB, you will have to figure out how to work with it outside of the PaaS solution. Likely it will be more performant locally than remotely right?
Update 3: VMforce is due to be available in a developer preview in the second half of 2010, with general availability anticipated either later this year or in 2011. 2011? Really? That is a LONG time from this announcement in April! –