OpenStack PaaS gets interesting with Ubuntu, Cloud Foundry project

Ubuntu seems to be backing both Solum and Pivotal's Cloud Foundry

The OpenStack PaaS market is heating up, with Ubuntu teaming up with Pivotal on a version of Cloud Foundry for OpenStack.

Canonical’s founder Mark Shuttleworth made the announcement today in Hong Kong at the OpenStack Summit. You can watch a replay of his keynote online.

“I’m really pleased to announce that Pivotal and Canonical will worth together to make the experience of Cloud Foundry on OpenStack absolutely fantastic,” he said.

But here’s where things get interesting. Canonical says it won’t only work on creating Cloud Foundry PaaS for Ubuntu clouds. “If there are vendors in the room who have OpenStack implementations, we’d like to certify and test on yours as well. This is not just for Ubuntu,” he said.

That might be a stretch as other OpenStack implementations might not be keen to work with a competitor to make sure that Cloud Foundry works well on their implementation.

The announcement is particularly interesting as it follows the recent creation of Project Solum, spearheaded by Rackspace. Solum aims to create an OpenStack PaaS platform, which would be in competition to a Cloud Foundry PaaS running on OpenStack.

More interesting is the fact that Canonical was listed among the supporters of Project Solum. It’s not clear if it’s hedging its bets or plans to drop out of the initiative.

UPDATE: Canonical will indeed support both, however, it's clearly prioritizing Cloud Foundry. Chalk this up as a win for Cloud Foundry and a loss for Solum. Here's the comment I got from Canonical CEO Jane Silber:

“We intend to work with multiple PaaS solutions. However, Cloud Foundry is a mature system with a large user base and significant momentum, while Project Solum is a promising but still quite young project. We have always encouraged choice within Ubuntu, and continue to do so. But we think it is also equally important to signal our recommendations to users – and on the PaaS front, that's Cloud Foundry. We know companies want to deploy OpenStack and Cloud Foundry today. As a result, we've partnered with Pivotal to deliver a turnkey Cloud Foundry solution on Ubuntu OpenStack. We're looking forward working with Pivotal to bring this solution to our enterprise customers.”

Maybe it’ll support both, although it seems clear where it will put its weight. Shuttleworth said he can think of 20 or so OpenStack PaaS projects. “We think it’s important to signal who we think is in the lead,” he said, while announcing the new project with Pivotal.

Rackspace seemed to put on a brave face about Ubuntu’s move with Pivotal. The Register quotes Rackspace’s Jim Curry saying: “More power to them.”

Read more of Nancy Gohring's "To the Cloud" blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @ngohring and on Google+. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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