By Jack Vaughan
The role of development in cloud computing has been bumpy through the few years that cloud architecture has been discussed. Most attention has been on the runtime and the data center, rather than the development side of the equation. That may be changing as some new Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings come online.
By some estimates, continuous integration may be the fulcrum for PaaS. If development teams are going to work on the cloud and ultimately develop for the cloud, they are likely to do their work based around an open source continuous integration engine residing on the cloud, or so the thinking goes. Take as an example CloudBees.
CloudBees offers the Jenkins open source continuous integration server as a cloud service. The company claims exceptional continuous integration expertise, based particularly on the reputation of Elite Developer and Architect Kohsuke Kawaguchi, its ”Elite Developer and Architect.” Kawaguchi was primer driver behind Hudson. His firm, InfraDNA, formed after the somewhat acrimonious fork of Hudson and Jenkins in the wake of Oracle’s purchase of Sun Microsystems, was acquired by CloudBees in November of 2010.
CloudBees founder and CTO Sacha Labourey says CloudBees goal is to handle the operations tasks needed to get an application from development to deployment, noting how many of those non-development tasks are arduous for developers.
“Today, developers end up maintaining Jenkins, and maintaining the machines it runs on,” said Labourey. ”It can get cumbersome.”
”For PaaS to take off, it has to be more than a runtime, it has to be a development stage too. It needs to cover the entire application lifecycle,” he said.
The open source continuous integration engine as core to a cloud platform service bears watching. As CloudBees’ s Labourey says, a certain class of cloud may come from the bottom up to the top on the back of open source software.
[Postscript: In early 2011, with Oracle's possible trademark control of "Hudson" among the issues of contention, the formal open source Jenkins project was created. The fractious split between the Hudson and Jenkins software camps reached a new stage earlier this month when Oracle proposed that the Eclipse Foundation create a Hudson project in Eclipse that included Hudson core code contributed by Oracle.]