Although Microsoft Azure 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.
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 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.