San Francisco, CA-based Joyent provides Cloud Computing software and services, with a slightly different approach that integrates everything into a suite that can be used just as well by Cloud service providers, enterprises and developers.
Their cloud software is SmartDataCenter, which is licensed to Dell, Uniserve and other service providers. Their public Cloud (JoyentCloud) has A-list customers such as LinkedIn and Gilt Groupe.
The real key that drives the company founded in 2004 is their involvement and sponsorship of two open source projects in Joyent SmartOS and Node.js, which is an exciting new platform for building scalable real-time applications quickly. Needless to say, they work well together, with Node.js as Platform as a Service (PaaS) running on top of Joyent SmartOS. Node is quickly catching up with Ruby on Rails, and is being touted as the new best thing in programming since Java and Ruby on Rails. I feel it looks destined to become just as famous for quickly developing cloud applications, as Rails was for putting together websites and hosted applications instantly with blocks of available code.
However, the surprising thing is not that it has become popular with the open source developer community, since that is what it was supposed to do. The surprising element is how fast it has taken off on a commercial level, and been accepted by huge companies and providers. Yahoo! and eBay openly endorse it, and Joyent’s biggest victory is bringing Microsoft on board.
One would think that an open source project that involved operating systems and application development would be the last thing that Redmond would support. But they have, and quite enthusiastically too. Microsoft has agreed to provide run-time support for Node.js on Windows Azure, which is Microsoft’s Cloud OS.
They agreed to provide support for Node.js storage on Windows Azure even for applications that are hosted elsewhere. At this point, we find it hard to decide whether Microsoft was convinced by Joyent as a kindred spirit or by the possibilities they see in Node.js. Jason Hoffman, CTO of Joyent, says it is simply because very few open source projects approach Redmond, and Joyent had the courage to ask Microsoft to pitch in.
Either way, Microsoft’s active support and involvement in what is essentially an open source project has ensured that it will be a huge success with a lot more publicity and attention from developers. Further evidence comes in the form of the “Technology of the Year” award for Node.js from Infoworld.
For Cloud computing customers, looking for a fast and easy to use PaaS development environment for scalable network applications dependent on real-time information, Node.js are arguably going to be the best choice very soon. The ability to use evented asynchronous I/O and work with both open source and proprietary operating systems like Joyent SmartOS and Windows Azure is a big plus that should help Node.js grab more enterprise customers than a typical open source project.
Joyent, for its part, is sitting pretty with a big list of Node.js services which I think will turn out to be a big revenue magnet in the near future. Their offerings include enterprise commercial support and certification, professional services like application support and technical training, and full platform enablement. A good cloud strategy at work.
Author: Cloud Consultant at CIONNE.com.
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