What is VMforce?

VMforce is a new cloud computing service that will extend salesforce.com’s Force.com development platform to allow Java developers to build and deploy enterprise apps in the cloud. Jointly delivered and sold by VMware and salesforce.com, it will be the first mission critical deployment vehicle for enterprise Java apps in the cloud. VMforce combines the most popular programming language (java), the most popular Java framework (Spring), the leading virtualization platform (vSphere), and the most trusted cloud platform (and global datacenter infrastructure), Force.com.

Why are salesforce.com and VMware working on this together?
Salesforce.com and VMware have a shared vision — that cloud computing can simplify IT – and can reduce the cost and complexity of building and running business apps. The complementary technologies, expertise and communities from each company made teaming up to deliver an enterprise java cloud a natural fit. In addition to the 2 million spring developers, VMware is bringing new vCloud technology that manages both the underlying vSphere virtualization layer as well as the java application infrastructure.
Salesforce.com is the leader in cloud database technology and the most trusted cloud platform for enterprise application apps with over 72,500 customers running their most important apps and most sensitive data. By combining forces we are giving businesses and their Java developers a clear path to the cloud.

How will this help customers?
VMforce will dramatically simplify how enterprises can harness the economics of cloud computing without compromising the flexibility, control and choice they require. Now CIOs and IT departments will be able to leverage their existing programming skills and investments in Java applications, and take full advantage of the benefits of cloud computing. With VMforce, the more than 6 million enterprise Java developers now have an open path to cloud computing without compromise.

What are the benefits of VMforce?
Simple — It runs in the cloud: There’s no hardware to manage. No software stack to install, patch, tune or upgrade. It’s all provided as a service in the cloud. Developers can focus on their code and we’ll handle the rest.

Spring Framework: VMforce includes the popular Spring framework. Spring makes it easy for developers to build powerful enterprise Java apps.

Powerful business app components: Since VMforce runs on the Force.com platform, developers have access to pre-built business app components that can be configured into their apps without requiring any custom coding. These components include a cloud database, search, reporting & analytics, a web services integration API and application security services.

Automatic scalability: With VMforce apps automatically scale. Developers don’t have to worry about scaling up app servers, databases or infrastructure.

Trusted Your apps run on the most trusted cloud infrastructure. Force.com is trusted by over 72,500 customers for their most important business applications and their most sensitive data. VMforce apps run on this same trusted infrastructure. All of your Java apps can now run on the world’s most secure enterprise cloud computing platform. The Force.com infrastructure that runs all of the apps created has passed some of most stringent security certifications including ISO 27001, SysTrust and SAS70 Type II.

Open Standard Java: VMforce supports standard java code: POJOs, JSPs, Servlets, etc. along with the popular Spring Framework.

Standard-Skill Sets: With VMforce, every Java developer is now a cloud developer. Any company with Java development resources and skill-sets can now easily start building and running enterprise apps in the cloud.

Portability: By building enterprise Java apps with Spring, you can deploy your app locally or onto the cloud.

How does VMforce compare to vCloud Express?
vCloud and other Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions are complements to VMforce. vCloud Express and other cloud services based on vSphere offer basic compute capacity as a service. They still require you to install and manage your own application stack. These solutions are great for a category of applications that aren’t Java and don’t work in a PaaS environment like VMforce.

How is VMforce different than vCloud Express?
VMforce is a complete Platform as a Service (PaaS) while vCloud Express is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution. In an IaaS solution, customers can consume a generic server resource in the cloud. It still requires customers to install and manage an application stack including the application server, database, and other middleware elements. For some developers and some applications this is the right solution.

In contrast, VMforce is a full PaaS solution where the customer doesn’t need to worry about installing and managing the middleware and application stack. All that “plumbing” is now done as a service. With VMforce, the customer focuses on the application logic and leaves the rest to VMware and Salesforce.com. Can you run VMforce on a vSphere-based private cloud? You cannot run VMforce on a private cloud. VMforce is delivered as a service which means that a company is turning over the operations and “plumbing” of the application stack to VMware and Salesforce.com. However, customers can build their private clouds using many of the same technologies used in VMforce including vSphere, the Spring Framework, and tc server.

How is VMforce different than other cloud services like Microsoft Azure or Amazon EC2?
The Windows Azure Platform is Microsoft’s cloud solution. Unlike VMforce, Azure is a closed and proprietary system focused on .Net developers and applications. It requires you to use Microsoft Azure services whereas VMforce lets you program in the open source language Java and reuse existing Java libraries and applications.

Amazon EC2 is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution. In an IaaS solution, customers can consume a generic server resource in the cloud. It still requires customers to install and manage an application stack including the application server, database, and other middleware elements.

In contrast, VMforce is a full PaaS solution where the customer doesn’t need to worry about installing and managing the middleware and application stack. All that “plumbing” is now done as a service. With VMforce, the customer focuses on the application logic and leaves the rest to VMware and Salesforce.com.

Furthermore, VMforce is a complete solution that combines the openness of Java and Spring with Force.com services that allow you to build applications quicker and faster. Customers can use the Force.com search and reporting services, the analytics service, and even the Salesforce.com Chatter collaboration services. It lets you build complete business applications where Azure and Amazon are still lacking in these offerings.

What is the availability of VMforce?
VMforce is currently scheduled to be in developer preview in 2010. Customers should make their purchasing decisions based on technology that is currently available.

What is the pricing for VMforce?
We are not announcing pricing today. We are exploring a number of different options and will announce pricing closer to VMforce availability.

Will both salesforce.com and VMware sell VMforce?
Yes, however the specific go to market plan will not be communicated until much later in the year, closer the availability of the service.

What are the financial details of the joint venture?
Financial details are not being disclosed. The partnership is set up to provide value equitably between VMware and salesforce.com.

Can I talk to my customers about VMforce?
Yes, everyone at VMware needs to be able to share that VMware (as part of our vCloud initiative) and salesforce.com are working together to provide a path for Java/Spring developers to move to the cloud.
That said there is no immediate call to action that VMware needs to communicate to its
customers. Later in the year, VMware and salesforce.com will lay out a go to market strategy for this new service.

Where can I learn more?
There are two VMware executive blogs that explain more:
• Blog post from Steve Herrod can be found at:
https://blogs.vmware.com/console/2010/04/vmforce-and-vmwares-open-paas-strategy.html
• Blog post from Rod Johnson can be found at:
https://blog.springsource.com/2010/04/27/vmforce-spring-cloud/
Please visit www.vmforce.com to learn more.

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