Microsoft’s cloud partnership with Oracle gives the Redmond, WA giant a new license to distribute Java technology — something it hasn’t had since 2004. With this license, Microsoft can finally offer Java as a preinstalled, first-class environment on Windows Azure as well as its Hyper-V virtualization software. Microsoft and Oracle announced their cloud partnership on June 24.
Developers can and do run Java applications on Azure, but strictly as a “bring your own” exercise; they were not able to get usage rights to and support for the technology from Microsoft. Without a license, Java would always be a second-class denizen of Windows Azure. Now enterprise customers can get the legal air cover they require for crucial technologies. As a result, we expect to see much wider usage of Windows Azure for a wider range of Java applications.
For both Microsoft and Oracle, life is about the enterprise. And Java is a foundation of enterprise applications. In Forrester’s Forrsights Developer Survey, Q1 2013, Java support was a top-five reason to select a cloud platform. Enterprise C# developers will naturally come to Windows Azure, but Microsoft needed to attract the Java shops as well. The most popular cloud platform — Amazon Web Services — has no problem with Java; neither does Google. And in the real world, most large enterprises use both .NET and Java, so why should developers need different public clouds for each?
To evaluate public cloud platforms, you have to look at the breadth of cloud services developers use, which means including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Windows Azure, and salesforce.com’s Heroku in the same comparison.
That’s right — there’s a mix of IaaS and PaaS products in our evaluation. Why? Our job is to help AD&D leaders select the right platform for their public cloud deployments. Developers seek utility where they can find it. Thus, the most widely used public cloud platform in our surveys is not a PaaS, but rather AWS, which is commonly labeled an IaaS.
Public cloud platforms unlock the flexibility, productivity, and economic advantages of cloud computing. Our just-published Forrester Wave™ on enterprise public cloud platforms evaluates the 14 leading providers of platforms for the enterprise. We included AWS, CloudBees, Cordys, Engine Yard, GoGrid, Google, IBM, Mendix, Microsoft, MioSoft, Rackspace, salesforce.com, SoftLayer, and Verizon Terremark in the evaluation.
In conducting this research, we learned that cloud platforms don’t fit into neat product categories. AWS is much more than an IaaS; Microsoft and Google now provide both PaaS and IaaS products. This finding (previewed in this blog) is vital to helping AD&D leaders sort through a veritable explosion of new products labeled “PaaS”.