A fortnight ago Craig Muzilla and Paul Cormier announced the ambitious launching of xPaaS the Red Hat vision for the adoptance and standardisation of enterprise Cloud PaaS. By unifying a set of strategies and technologies proven in their own specific business areas, OpenShift and JBoss. Obviously with JBoss providing the underlying secured grunt under OpenShift it was only a matter of time before the realisation that there would be a defined offering made available for public consumption. xPaaS is very real and represents a subtle gamechanger that I'll provide further focus on in this article.
Leading from the front, Red Hat continue to shape and to prosper what Cloud is as a consumable catalogue service rich environment for enterprises to rack up to safely and with confidence. To outline a comprehensive, open and uniformed PaaS built of the constructs and technologies that are already used by so many customers you don't have to look too closely to realise that it also represents a clever move to circumvent the timeline of application migration to Cloud while lending credibility and an important tick box to the decision makers within enterprises who were otherwise looking to curtail ambition around Cloud deployment.
The JBoss teams in Red Hat have long since described JBoss technologies as cloud friendly, this just further provides continued emphasis that the engineering capabilities in Red Hat have moved one step further to extend beyond the datacenter and traditional enterprise network perimeter to Cloud.
Having read the reactions from the IT press and industry analysts now that the dust has settled a fortnight post announcement there are two major missing pieces of the jigsaw that they've missed entirely.
xPaaS - extending the catalogue to Service Providers
I have pointed out in talks I give at Cloud events and in my podcasts that one of the problems I've seen with Cloud providers globally was the rush to stand environments up to compete with Amazon or "to have something to offer". A lot of providers rushed to get Cloud 1.0 out the door and then had to bare the costs as those platforms then lost them a chunk of revenue whilst their traditional managed hosting businesses had to pay the bills. Sadly a lot of those platforms built around proprietary technologies mean that even now the costs of adoption have to be passed on to the customer, but also now mean that further re-architecture requirements to build a Cloud of "what people want" now mean a lot of that investment has to be made in Open technologies to remain relevant.
xPaaS for the first time means that those providers actually have a major reason to think about the writing off of those initial Cloud adoption costs to move to open hybrid cloud built of proven secure building blocks and to follow their more switched on counterparts and competitors using KVM as the hypervisor of choice. xPaaS hosted within a provider gives a Cloud provider partner something essential. Revenue stickiness. Customer onboarding and attraction is never easy in a crowded marketplace but now heres the gamechanger opportunity to be able to be a happy part of the foodchain rather than a bitter pill to swallow.
The second opportunity - the JBoss community win win
The JBoss eco-system is packed solid with the most amazing developers who both contribute to the upstream JBoss.org codebase but also who provide services and solutions built around JBoss. The emergence of xPaaS is a huge vote of confidence allowing them to be able to work with their enterprise customers to push solutions onto supported xPaaS either in public or private cloud, driving revenue opportunity and new partnership opportunities to these partners.
So in many ways the birth of xPaaS was always going to be significant, I hope by playing the angles we can demonstrate that it's more relevant than you thought possible as a vote of confidence in enterprise migration of applications to a secure business as usual platform as a service technology platform allowing you to do what you do best.