ActiveState Stackato Delivers Perl and Python to the Cloud

by Sean Kerner

ActiveState chooses VMware's Cloud Foundry instead of Red Hat OpenShift for new platform.

The battle for the cloud Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) space is a hot one that just keeps getting hotter.

This week, development and language tools vendor ActiveState announced their Stackato PaaS, based on the open source VMware Cloud Foundry project. Stackato initially supports perl and python, two languages for which ActiveState has commercial support and tooling products.

"Stackato is a cloud platform that supports several application frameworks and data services that can be deployed by organizations either on their own private cloud (e.g., VMware vSphere) or on any IaaS provider like Amazon or Rackspace," Diane Mueller, director enterprise product management at ActiveState Software told InternetNews.com.

Mueller noted that ActiveState is a VMware Technology Alliance Partner, and it chose vSphere as the first private cloud virtualization platform to work with.

"We are leveraging the Cloud Foundry Open Source Project (cloudfoundry.org), and have extended it for use with ActivePython and ActivePerl in the enterprise," Mueller said.

ActivePython and ActivePerl are ActiveState's language distributions for Python and Perl. There are both freely available open source versions as well as enterprise editions for both language distributions.

VMware announced Cloud Foundry in April as an open source PaaS project.

According to Mueller, ActiveState has been actively testing and reviewing the Cloud Foundry code base. As of yet, ActiveState has not had any changes accepted yet into the project.

From an ActiveState perspective, Stackato can be leveraged as part of a build and deploy solution. ActiveState develops the Komodo IDE for development.

"Komodo IDE enables developers to deploy onto a Stackato cloud directly as well as take advantage of our powerful debugging facilities for dynamic languages," Mueller said.

The market for open source PaaS solutions is broader than just Cloud Foundry. This week, Red Hat announced their OpenShift PaaS solution. Red Hat supports multiple development frameworks for Java, Python, PHP and Ruby with OpenShift.

Although Red Hat sees OpenShift as being an open platform for the cloud, ActiveState doesn't see it the same way.

"It's not Open Source and our current view is it is more limited in the range of languages, language versions and frameworks supported," Mueller said. "It's basically Red Hat in the cloud, which isn't enough to satisfy customer needs we have seen."

Red Hat itself has admitted that OpenShift is not entirely open source. Isaac Roth, PaaS master at Red Hat said during a press conference this week that there are certain parts of OpenShift which are not yet open source, like the UI code for example.

"We do intend to open source OpenShift, we don't have a timeline today, but we're working on it," Roth said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

This article was originally published on Friday May 6th 2011
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