OpenLogic's PaaS to support many languages

The service also aims to help enterprises better track cloud usage

OpenLogic is launching a platform-as-a-service offering that aims to give users the flexibility that many developers like about infrastructure-as-a-service without the work.

CloudSwing offers stacks for Java, Ruby, PHP and JavaScript with platforms based on Rails, Tomcat, LAMP, node.js and nginx. Users can run the platform on Amazon or RackSpace and eventually on their own private clouds too.

If an enterprise customer of CloudSwing uses a different version of Tomcat and a different database, for example, than those built into the standard CloudSwing stack, the enterprise can swap in its own preferences and save that stack in its private library for use by its developers going forward. "They can take that stack we've created as a starting point and make those changes once," said Kim Weins, senior vice president of marketing for OpenLogic. "Now that can be the standard for all their developers."

With that kind of flexibility, the service begins to have some of the attraction of an infrastructure-as-a-service offering, but still saves users some work, she said. "If you start with IaaS and build a platform on it, it's still a fair amount of work and effort to do that," she said. "Especially when you're in an enterprise where experience in the cloud is still building up, it can be a big barrier to entry to just get going."

Customers will be able to use the stack across multiple clouds. OpenLogic is still working on supporting enterprise cloud deployments, which requires the company to build APIs (application programming interfaces) and accommodate for security aspects unique to private clouds that are built behind the firewall, Weins said.

In addition to flexibility, OpenLogic thinks CloudSwing will be attractive to users for its cost-tracking capabilities. Companies will be able to track usage and cost of public and private clouds through CloudSwing. In future versions, they will be able to do so on a per-app basis.

OpenLogic, which has its roots in support services for open-source software, will also offer services to CloudSwing customers who might need help using software in the cloud. "It does require different knowledge, different skills than what operations teams might be used to behind the firewall," she said. "How you configure servers, how you deal with performance, how you deal with failover. Those things are not quite the same in the cloud as they are in the data center."

Around 100 people have been using a private beta of CloudSwing, which becomes available to anyone on Thursday. A free version lets three people share an account and run five applications. That offer includes 15 hours of usage on Amazon and 15 hours on Rackspace.

Pricing otherwise starts at US$30 per month for a single developer and up to $700 per month for an enterprise that has hundreds or thousands of developers.

CloudSwing joins a growing number of PaaS offerings that support multiple languages. Heroku became one of the best known to do so and it now supports Java, Nod.js, Clojure, Python and Scala, in addition to Ruby. VMware's Cloud Foundry supports Spring for Java, Ruby on Rails and Sinatra for Ruby.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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Nancy Gohring

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