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How do partnerships with Cloud Foundry, OpenStack benefit developers?


SAP's partnerships with Cloud Foundry and The OpenStack Foundation could lead to parts of those open source technologies ending up in SAP products, according to consultant Ethan Jewett.  

"SAP could potentially take pieces from OpenStack or from Cloud Foundry and incorporate them into their own cloud offerings," said Jewett, a business intelligence expert and founder of Coredatra consulting.

"The other direction I think we see it going is SAP providing the ability to deploy SAP applications and services on these two platforms," Jewett said.

In a continuing effort to open its technology platforms to developers, SAP recently announced it had struck partnerships -- "sponsorships," as the German software maker called them -- with the two open source entities.

"Through the Cloud Foundry and OpenStack initiatives, as well as new developer tools, SAP deepens its commitment to the developer community and enables them to innovate and code in the cloud," SAP said in a statement.

The OpenStack Foundation provides infrastructure as a service (IaaS) for private clouds. In its announcement, SAP remarked it will become an "active consumer in the OpenStack community" and will contribute to the OpenStack code base, and that it was in a position to help enhance the OpenStack IaaS product because of its prior experience managing enterprise clouds.

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As for the technology itself, OpenStack allows companies theoretically to deploy in their data center services that are a lot like Amazon Web Services (AWS), for example, or Google Compute Engine, according to Jewett. "It's a way to programmatically deploy network resources and computing resources -- servers, essentially -- so developers can access those without going through IT. It's like setting up an AWS account and being able to just spin off servers."

Cloud Foundry, in contrast, is a platform as a service (PaaS).

"[Cloud Foundry is] for companies to use in their private data centers. [It's] a set of services that you can [use to] define and build applications. In some senses, it's something of a competitor to the HANA Cloud Platform that SAP provides," Jewett said. "But really, I don't think they offer it in quite the same market."

As for SAP's contributions to the Cloud Foundry open source effort, SAP says it is collaborating with other members to "enable the development of next-generation cloud applications," has contributed code to the project, and recently unveiled a Cloud Foundry service broker for SAP.

Watch the video to hear more of Jewett's take on the announcement.

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