Cloud Foundry is an open source (free) cloud computing platform as a service (PaaS) software developed by VMware, it is released as free software under the terms of the Apache License 2.0. The software has made use of Ruby. This was an initiative from the very popular VMware to offer a free to use Cloud Computing platform, and named it as ‘Cloud Foundry’. Currently it only supports few database services such as MySQL, MongoDB. Gradually, the company plans to include multiple frameworks, services, clouds etc within the product.
Multiple players already exist in the Cloud Computing Industry, among are the very popular Google App Engine, Microsoft Azure etc., webmasters can make use of any of these for developing applications suitable for Cloud. But all of these have a common drawback, users aren’t capable of switching to a different Cloud Hosting service provider unless the application code is re-written, which is highly difficult as the code is only present on the platform of the service provider.
Realizing this drawback, VMware released its own application development platform that would allow clients easily switch between hosts, and named it as ‘Cloud Foundry’. Its an open source product that gets installed in between the cloud infrastructure offered by the Cloud Servers provider and the software that is used for development. So, any provider that supports Cloud Foundry can run applications that are compatible with its included technologies. For that purpose, users aren’t required to run VMware vSphere virtualization platform underneath, this enables users to switch their applications between hosts without the need to rewrite the app. hence offering an extended flexibility to users.
Currently Cloud Foundry only supports MySQL, MongoDB and Redis, more support would be added for other application services in the days to come as claimed on their website. Spring for Java, Rails and Sinatra for Ruby and Node.js are supported with the current version, moreover it is compatible with other JVM-based frameworks such as Grails. With its initial release, if offers a fully functional PaaS software that is shrinked into a virtual image which can run on a developer’s PC or laptops. It also offers compatibility with Dynamic DNS hence enabling programmers work on their applications irrespective of their locations or even connect external services with applications that run within Cloud Foundry instance. Regular updates would be released that are compatible with the latest versions of the parent software.
Though still in its beta stage, Cloud Foundry is currently available for downloads at https://www.cloudfoundry.com/micro.
Check for updates on Cloud Foundry : http://www.cloudfoundry.com/faq
As it seems, VMware has released the product for competing with the existing players, such as Heroku and Salesforce and Windows Azure that connects to various Microsoft software and services.