Iron Foundry Brings .Net To Cloud Foundry

Tier 3 donates .Net Framework to Open Source Community

Back last April I wrote about VMware releasing a new open source PaaS solution called Cloud Foundry. At the time I said that VMware wanted to break Google and Microsoft's lock on PaaS, which many people consider the future of the cloud. Part of the secret sauce for Cloud Foundry was that it would support the widest range of programming languages available. However, one programming vehicle it did not support was Microsoft's .Net.  Tier 3, am IaaS+ provider seeking to move up the stack towards PaaS has rectified this with the contribution of Iron Foundry to the open source community under an Apache license.

Iron Foundry is a .Net Framework for Cloud Foundry. Before anyone snickers with a "who uses .Net anymore", let me remind you that when you get into the enterprise, .Net is probably the second most popular platform after Java, at least according to Tier 3 founder and CTO, Jared Wray, who I spoke to yesterday.

Wray said that about 70% of Tier 3's hosting and cloud customers use the Window's platform. As such having .Net support in Cloud Foundry was very important. Wray is also a big believer in open source and never considered any other option for Iron Foundry than an open source model, following the Cloud Foundry path.

Of course Microsoft themselves offer a PaaS .Net cloud with its Azure platform.  But that is only a public cloud. Wray sees most of his customers wanting either private cloud PaaS or potentially a hybrid, private and open model.  Nevertheless he is confident that sooner or later Microsoft will endorse Iron Foundry as well.

I called Tier 3 a IaaS+ provider because they seek to offer more than just pure infrastructure. Wray says they specialize in back office applications and integration, rising above just the IaaS stack, but still short of full PaaS.  Wray says that with Iron Foundry thought, Tier 3 may move into full PaaS in the near future.  Tier 3 serves the mid to enterprise market with most of their customers above 50 million revenue level.

Tier 3 has worked closely with VMware, the makers of Cloud Foundry.  Currently Iron Foundry is a separate project which will be hosted on GitHub, but it could merge with Cloud Foundry at some point in the future.

Cloud Foundry is a big winner with this contribution as it continues to be the PaaS foundation that will support the greatest range of programming languages in the market.

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