VMWare Acquires Spring Source – Java Framework Giant – Cloud Computing Plans

VMWare and Java — What do the have in Common? VM – Virtual Machine. Just the name, underlying infrastructure, technology is 99.9% different.

Did any one ever thought a Virtualization giant like VMWare would buy Java based Framework developer Company “Spring Source”, popular for it’s “Spring Framework”, used in most J2EE web applications today.

VMWare’s acquisition of SpringSource, is the most significant development in the history of the Java development platform, after the Oracle-Sun deal.

VMWare is now into serious Cloud Computing. The company sees its role in the cloud, very crucial. The acquisition of the commercial open-source middleware/framework company makes perfect sense. First make your Virtualization highly resilient, portable then partner with Networking giants for Virtualization Aware Networking, and then jump into software market.
SpringSource gives VMWare a development “platform,” the next step,  to deliver in VMWare-based cloud services and a unique Ecosystem to define both application construction and deployment architectures.

The vision constructed by SpringSource CEO Rod Johnson a while ago, speaks to an environment in which developers can declare not only how objects should connect with one another, but how they should be packaged into virtual machines and deployed into the virtualized infrastructure:

Working together with VMware we plan on creating a single, integrated, build-run-manage solution for the data center, private clouds, and public clouds. A solution that exploits knowledge of the application structure, and collaboration with middleware and management components, to ensure optimal efficiency and resiliency of the supporting virtual environment at deployment time and during runtime. A solution that will deliver a Platform as a Service (Paas) built around technologies that you already know, which can slash cost and complexity. A solution built around open, portable middleware technologies that can run on traditional Java EE application servers in a conventional data center and on Amazon EC2 and other elastic compute environments as well as on the VMware platform.

The impact of this acquisition has focused on how it plays as a competition to Microsoft Azure, which–when combined with the Hyper-V virtualization platform–threatens VMWare’s dominance in the enterprise. Forrester Research thinks it’s much more than that, however:

VMware has a bigger agenda SpringSource helps to fulfill making vCloud bigger than simply an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) alternative and keeping Microsoft at bay. Enterprises are already demanding that cloud environments and internal cloud solutions support their hypervisor standard VMware. So it wasn’t going to be a stretch to get vCloud adopted, assuming it delivered as promised. But the battle isn’t IaaS, it’s becoming the equivalent of the operating system for the next generation data center and you can’t achieve that aim without applications; and you can’t become application-relevant without being relevant to developers.

Stephen O’Grady says it’s not just about the development and integration, but also about tooling:

When (colleague Michael) Cote and I met with SpringSource CEO Rod Johnson at OSCON a few weeks ago, one of the primary topics of discussion was the development experience. This could wind up one of the unheralded benefits of the acquisition: Rod gets the tooling story. He understands that Microsoft, again, is setting the bar for the development experience by allowing its developers to localize the cloud environment via Visual Studio. With VMware’s virtualization capabilities, the tooling story for SpringSource could get very interesting vis a vis cloud development and deployment.

Everyone is excited about the future of cloud computing — There are technologies evolving for both public and private clouds that give developers just as much control over every element of how their applications are built, deployed, and operated as they have had in the past.

These technologies are a combination of declarative descriptive configuration policies and automated software and systems that can interpret those policies and respond as required.

SaaS is a key-player in today’s industries. Spring Framework has done wonders in this. SaaS offerings allow customization at levels of granularity unthinkable before Spring demonstrated dynamic instantiation. Custom applications deployed to IaaS offerings could declare that they require a isolated networks for backplane communication, connectivity to two different storage systems by name (perhaps even one in the cloud and one through FCoE), or provide monitoring through specific protocols.

VMWare is not the only company that can currently achieve this vision. Microsoft is in a great position to allow a similar story for its developers, assuming it partners with the right systems companies to push dynamic configuration beyond Hyper-V into the physical infrastructure layers. .Net and the Microsoft tool set are already quite capable of delivering significant coordination between application development and deployment. Citrix and Red Hat, by contrast, do not yet seem to have such a sophisticated vision.

BTW, VMWare got cloud monitoring powerhouse Hyperic in the deal as well.

What’s your take on VMWare’s acquisition of SpringSource. Is it as important as the cloud pundits, or is there little excitement worth raising hair here?

Sources- CNet, Betanews, WSJ

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  • I was very surprised to see the acquisition and VMWare attaching themselves to Java . As I said in my blog post (http://bit.ly/66jpT) I always saw VMWare as the “Switzerland” of infrastructure tools, why are they picking sides now?

    The strategy made more sense to me when I saw VMWare’s CTO blog (http://bit.ly/6CHRu). He said they also have efforts into PhP, Ruby, .Net, and J2EE to tie the platform closer to the infrastructure. I’m very surprised that this line hasn’t been quoted more in the analysis.

    The combination of infrastructure with platform will make for a powerful cloud offering.

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