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VMware lets Rabbit loose on open source code cloud

Cloud Foundry gets the messaging

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VMware has plugged the open source RabbitMQ messaging system into Cloud Foundry, the "platform-as-a-service" it introduced in beta form earlier this year.

RabbitMQ provides a means of facilitating communication within and between applications and services. "RabbitMQ is now a first class citizen of Cloud Foundry," VMware spokesman Al Sargent tells The Reg. "It can be used to communicate between Cloud Foundry services and with other applications on Cloud Foundry, and to connect to third-party services like Twitter or PayPal."

VMware acquired Rabbit Technologies – the UK-based outfit that originated RabbitMQ – in April of last year, and it previously rolled the messaging system into a suite of development tools it calls vFabric.

vFabric is for those who wish to build applications here on earth, while Cloud Foundry is for those looking to create, deploy, and readily-scale their applications in the proverbial heavens. Based on an open source platform designed from scratch by VMware, Cloud Foundry is a platform-as-a-service or "development cloud" along the lines of Google App Engine, Microsoft Azure, or Red Hat OpenShift.

Running in a data center that once belonged to backup outfit Mozy, the service is still offered as a free beta, and VMware is gradually adding various sister services. Cloundry Foundry already offers services based on three open source databases – MySQL, MongoDB, and Redis – and now, RabbitMQ has joined these three on VMware's command line.

VMware's Al Sargent tells us that the company plans to add more services "over time", and though he did not specify what services are in the works, he did say though the core Cloud Foundry platform will remain completely open source, VMware is considering the addition of sister services that are not open source. The company could, say, offer a proprietary Oracle database service alongside Cloud Foundry.

RabbitMQ is based on the AMQP standard, a messaging protocol originally developed by JP Morgan, and it's open sourced under the Mozilla Public License. Most notably, the system underpins NASA's Nebula "infrastructure cloud", where it's used not only to communicate between virtual machines but to push information to end user browsers.

"Imagine you have a VM and you don't know where it is. It's just some virtual resource in the cloud. It's just in one of many containers in a massive data center," Rabbit Technolgies man Alexis Richardson told us when VMware acquired the company. "How do you get the right information to the right VM to execute the right command for the right user at the right time? The answer is messaging."

Sargent declined to say when Cloud Foundry is due to emerge from beta or how many developers are using the service. "We've very much happy with our growth figures so far," he told us. ®

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