Microsoft Azure Embraces Open Source in the Midst of Promising Challenger

Although has long been the dominant Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering for companies, a recent offering from enterprise cloud platform vendor Tier 3 helps fill a few crucial holes left unfilled by Azure. To provide a brief background, Tier 3 is an enterprise cloud platform provider acquired by VM Ware back in April of this year, and their platform is called Iron Foundry.

The Service:

Overall Iron Foundry consists of three key components required for developers to implement solutions based around their needs:

  • Open sourced code which allows for developers to self-host the platform for their own customized implementations
  • A core .Net framework fork of Cloud Foundry  – an open source cloud platform heavily backed by VM Ware – which will be kept in synch with the main development versions
  • A Windows version of Cloud Foundry Explorer online casino and Visual Studio plug-in will allow for direct deployment of code from IDE’s to Cloud Foundry

In addition to the above features, Tier 3 also is making the code available on GitHub under an Apache 2.0 license, allowing the general open source community to help improve the platform.

Azure Steps up its Game:

Despite Microsoft not being synonymous with being open source friendly, a recent set of adjustments on the Azure platform, cause Iron Foundry to have another key vendor to compete against. Some of the recently adjustments to Azure include:

  • Support for numerous open source technologies including Hadoop and Node.js, whereas in the past clients were limited to .Net languages, PHP, and SQL Asure – a specialized version of Microsoft SQL specifically for the Azure platform
  • Implementation of the Node Package Manager (npm) which can be installed via Micosofts Command Line tool Power Shell
  • The release of a complete Microsoft SDK with support for Node.js fully integrated

‘Overall when it comes to choosing between Azure or Iron Foundry, it is likely best to give both platforms a shot as the ability to use both services without a contract eliminates the barrier which typically comes into play with traditional devices.

UPDATE:  The original version of this article mentioned that Tier3 was acquired by VM Ware in early 2011 however a representative from the company has pointed out that the company is septate from VMware.


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