I have been following Cloud Foundry from the day it got announced. It was very clear that VMware invested in it with a clear strategy – democratize PaaS by making it is absolutely easy for the hosters and enterprises to deploy it. Between 2008 and 2011, PaaS was associated with Google (App Engine), Microsoft (Windows Azure), Salesfore.com (Force.com / Heroku) and Engine Yard. But in the last one year, there are half-a-dozen new players that entered the niche PaaS market. And, one thing that is common among these new entrants is that all of them are powered by Cloud Foundry. Whether it is ActiveState, AppFog, Tier 3, Uhuru Software, PaaS.io or VMware’s own CloudFoundry.com, all of them use the same set of APIs and tools based on Cloud Foundry.
Architecting PaaS is not a trivial task! Microsoft and Google put some of the best brains behind Windows Azure and App Engine. An average hoster or even a mature Cloud service provider cannot match the reliable PaaS architecture that Windows Azure or App Engine offer. But by adopting Cloud Foundry, any hoster can claim to be a PaaS player. They can offer popular languages, runtimes, frameworks and services without dealing with the complexity of packaging them for the Cloud. This will commoditize PaaS by empowering many service providers to turn into a PaaS provider overnight!
The other important factor is the emerging Private PaaS paradigm within the enterprises. As public facing line-of-business and web applications find their way to the Public Cloud, enterprises are looking at a Private PaaS layer that they can target to deploy internal applications. If enterprises can find the same PaaS that powers their Private Cloud and the Public Cloud, they can standardize their deployment environments across the organization.