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Microsoft may cut up the Paul Maritz "ruby"

Posted on Thursday, October 30, 2008 | No Comments

How many times have you heard Paul Maritz, CEO of VMware say “Ruby on Rails”? I know it has been a lot lately. A quick Google search shows nearly 600 references.

Why does Maritz mention Ruby a lot? Because he believes that there needs to be a decoupling of the applications and the current traditional operating systems. For example this quote from a recent interview 

There's a tremendous amount of ferment in how applications are being developed today. They're largely being developed around new frameworks such as Python, Java and Ruby on Rails.

We think it's risky to tie all your applications of the future to Windows or Linux or any other flavor.

Now move to the new vCloud initiative. A key component of the VMware play here is that by performing compute virtualisation VDC-OS can take the workloads of today and tomorrow. If ISV’s develop in these platforms they can be packed up into Just enough Operating System (JeOS) machines with something like rPath and deployed onto your internal or external clouds.

Then this week Microsoft announced their cloud initative, Azure. One of the key elements here is that it will not provide compute virtualisation like vCloud or EC2 but rather require you to write your applications to their framework, based on .NET.

So here it the reason for this post, you were wondering how all this tied together. A Software Development Kit has just been released for Tech Preview that allows Ruby applications to run on the Microsoft Azure cloud.

The purpose of this project is to provide an interoperable open source Ruby Software Development Kit (SDK) - set of libraries, tools, prescriptive patterns & guidance & real world sample applications that will enhance productivity for developers. Developers will be able to leverage the .NET Services to extend their Java applications by using the Microsoft Azure services platform to build, deploy and manage reliable, internet-scale applications.

Its not game changing but it makes you think. The key thing to remember here is that Azure is a close shop for Microsofts datacenter only. You can’t run it yourself. I think VMware have really captured the right model here, providing the VDC-OS to run your own cloud, and then provide the API between internal and external clouds for federation. Of course I am focusing on the Enterprise market here. Of course ISV building SaaS products may think its great to run everything on Google appEngine or Microsoft Azure, but wouldn’t you like the option to run it on your own cloud as well, just in case things change, or you want to run an internal test and dev on the same environment! Microsoft may have removed the lock in from an OS perspective, with Azure they have just swapped it for data center lock in.

Interesting days for clouds and software development. Expect Paul Maritz to keep his “ruby on rails” mantra for a while yet.

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