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VMware floats into developer cloud services

Three-way fluffing promised

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VMworld VMware is floating a Microsoft Azure-like developer cloud for coders building apps on SpringSource's middleware, but the news is carefully wrapped in a fluffy statement on "branding".

Today, at VMworld, in San Francisco, California, the company will announce something called vFabric. vFabric consists of integrated versions of the existing Tomcat-base tcServer, GemFire management systems, RabbitMQ messaging, ERS dynamic load balancing, and Hyperic application performance management.

John Gilmartin, VMware director of product marketing for private cloud products, told The Reg that vFabric is a "rebranding" but said this would include no new products.

The components in VMware's SpringSource stable were already integrated, and a source close to the company has told The Reg that VMware intends to offer its own public online service based on the SpringSource middleware that comprises vForce. This developer cloud is also believed to be headed in the direction of running multiple languages, not just Java - the heritage of the open-source Spring.

"This is substantially more than marketing bundles," the source told us.

It's not clear when VMware's cloud will be floated or what pricing will be.

VMware's own, public cloud would be the logical third leg in an unfolding strategy offering VMware products for people to build their own clouds and also working with other industry platform and application providers to deliver clouds based on vSphere and SpringSource.

Today, at VMworld, VMware will announce vCloud Director to create "virtual data centers" - pools of processing power, storage, and networking with the complexity abstracted. The idea is customers of service providers can set up clouds without needing to become tangled in complicated the usual systems administration work and provisioning of assets.

Also coming today are VMware vShield, VMware vShield App, and vShield Endpoint for virtual firewalls, VPNs, and load balancing.

Away from products, VMware has been working with Salesforce.com on VMforce to host Java applications on its proprietary Force.com platform using Spring and vSphere. Earlier this year, Google and VMware announced support for Spring Java apps on Google App Engine and Spring Roo with Google Web Toolkit. Also announced was work to integrate Spring Insight performance tracing used in tcServer with Google's Speed Tracer technology to monitor performance of applications built using Spring and Google Web Toolkit.

By building its own developer cloud, in addition to partnering with existing cloud providers and offering tools and services for customers to float their own clouds, VMware's covering its bases.

VMware was unwilling to comment about its plans ahead of Tuesday's official VMworld news. In a statement, though, VMware confirmed it wants to serve cloud in three ways.

"Our strategy is to ensure portability of applications across private and public clouds built on VMware and bring Java to cloud computing in an open and portable way. VMforce and our collaboration with Google are great examples of VMware frameworks and platform services working within two cloud models successfully," the company said. ®

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