Pile ‘em high

Rackspace jumps on bandwagon with open source PaaS project

Lucy Carey
rackspace-cloud

New project ‘Solum’ promises to be an OpenStack alternative to Cloud Foundry – if it ever comes together.

 

Public cloud provider Rackspace has added
another tier to its teetering OpenStack pile with the recently
announced, and sketchily outlined, ‘
Project
Solum
’ (or possibly just ‘Solum’ – there seems to
be a mixed consensus on this).

Rackspace Principal Architect Adrian Otto outlined the
aims of the project in an

open letter
to the OpenStack community on Wednesday.
Working in partnership with eBay, Red Hat, Ubuntu/Canonical,
dotCloud/Docker, Cloudsoft,and Cumulogic, the company will be
working to create a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) system for
OpenStack.

There’s already an ‘experimental’ prototype of
Solum up and running, but according to the FAQs, it’s being started
from the ground-up as an open design with all code coming from
community contributors. Given that it’s yet to reach 1.0 status, it
will be a while yet before this clear attempt by Rackspace to jump
on the oh-so-buzzy PaaS train can even start to be considered a
threat to existing providers. And with IBM

in cahoots with Cloud Foundry
, that prospect
seems tenuous at best.

Due to the relatively embryonic stage of
development, there’s a lot that’s still yet to be explained – for
example, what services and capabilities will PaaS service provider
Red Hat be adding to the project? And what will differentiate Solum
from other automated runtime environments such as Cloud Foundry or
Open Shift?


According to the announcement, Solum will be
open sourced, and will ultimately serve to ease application
lifecycle management across dev, test, and production types of
environments. This will be supported by the Heat project’s
automated orchestration, which includes faculties such as resource
deployment, monitoring-based self-healing, and auto-scaling. It was
also foster easy application portability between public and private
clouds, with no vendor-driven requirements within the application
stack or control system.

What the Project Solum roadmap does tell us is
that we can expect auto scaling, continuous integration, and
application performance monitoring in the mid-term. Solum is
natively designed for OpenStack clouds, leveraging numerous
OpenStack projects  such as Heat, Keystone, Nova, and Trove,
among others. Users are free to use applications written in any
language they like, thanks to the addition of a modular ‘language
pack’.

Much further down the line, the plan is to roll
out IDE Plugins for Eclipse, IntelliJ, JBoss Studio, and Komodo,
high availability, backed by distributed placement of load balanced
set of code container instances, and an online developer sandbox.
Considering the fact that other more developed PaaS leaders have
long waded out of the primordial swamp, it’ll be interesting to see
if this project can gain enough momentum to really trouble
Pivotal.


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