Since CloudBees was born, our vision has always been that at some point - say 2020 - the majority of the overall computing workload would take place in public clouds. What has been less clear is how things would play out between now and 2020 since this evolution would depend on so many complex factors (including the maturation of public cloud offerings, how fast entrenched vendors will fully embrace the cloud, the availability of cloud standards, etc .).
As a testament to that vision, we released the CloudBees Platform - first DEV@cloud , then RUN@cloud - on top of a public cloud infrastructure. This strategy clearly sets our vision and addresses where the market is going ultimately, setting up CloudBees as leading PaaS provider with a solution today!
Back to the future...
Yet, very early on, large enterprises reached out to us to tell us that they liked what we were doing, but that they simply couldn’t run in the public cloud. Sometimes for regulatory reasons, sometimes because their internal policies were forbidding any IP to leave “the walls” (public cloud or not), sometimes because the T&C/SLA/commitments of IaaS providers weren’t high enough, sometimes because they had extraordinary amount of existing CAPEX investment in data centers. Whatever those (good) reasons were, there was an impedance mismatch between the value CloudBees were providing and the problems we were solving vs. where we were providing that value.
As we gathered more and more feedback pointing in the same direction, and given how strong Java is in the Enterprise, we decided we needed to offer a way to solve Enterprises’ problems in today’s infrastructure, but with tomorrow’s technology. Consequently, we announced today our plans to provide the CloudBees Platform (both DEV@cloud and RUN@cloud) as a "Private Edition", running on-premises.
In terms of the first cloud management/virtualization platforms we will be supporting, we will focus on VMWare vSphere (because of its obvious ubiquity in today’s Enterprises) and OpenStack (because of its very fast growth in Enterprises – looking for a robust yet much less costly alternative).
Hybrid as an evolution, not as a compromise
"Hybrid" solutions are sometimes perceived as being a compromise that offers “the worst of both worlds” while trying to fly under the marketing radar. This is clearly not how we understand the need for hybrid solutions.
Enterprises interested in leveraging a PaaS realize that transitioning their processes and training their teams will not happen overnight and that their existing applications will take time to transition to a PaaS - and some never will. Consequently, they want to start early, in the best possible conditions, and they want to do this without having to decide today what their policy with regard to external private clouds or public clouds will be. These are two independent issues: i) adapting their internal tools and ii) defining whether/how they can leverage a 3rd party infrastructure.
Taking on a hybrid strategy allows Enterprises to parallelize those two tracks and make it possible to line up their ducks for the day shared infrastructure will be an option to them, selectively, application by application.
Consequently, CloudBees’hybrid PaaSstrategy is about enabling a smooth and selective evolution towards the cloud, it is not about compromise.
If you are an Enterprise interested to participate or hear about our DEV@cloud and/or RUN@cloud beta program, please contact us . If you want to get a better feel for what a PaaS can bring, just sign up for free and build, test and deploy an application in minutes.
Sacha Labourey, CEO