A recent tweet by Tim O’Reilly caught my attention. He spoke about a new stack acronym LEAP: Linux, Eucalyptus, AppScale, Python. This will sound like music in the ears of the open source community because with the new LEAP stack you can build your own cloud: no more complaining from the cloud nay-sayers!

  • Linux: well, quite obvious I’d say. With Linux already powering the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack and the majority of the internet (including Google and Facebook), it’s a no-brainer to pick this baby as the OS cloud darling. Even more, the cloud-edition of Ubuntu is called Karmic Koala, especially for it’s love making with the next product:
  • Eucalyptus: a project from the computer science department of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Eucalyptus aims to offer an open-source instance-based cloud computing solution for your own data center, compatible with Amazon’s EC2 interfaces, thus offering some kind of counter-vendor-lock-in (is this word already patented?) solution.
  • AppScale: project from the same university as above that offers an open source implementation from Google AppEngine. Basically you can run applications written for GAE on AppScale on your own infrastructure or hosted on Amazon EC2 with less limitations than on Google’s infrastructure. (It sounds almost brilliant).
  • Python: the new PHP? The new Java? Opinions are like asses: everybody has one, but this puppy is Google’s favorite and till recently the only available language on GAE. With Java now available on GAE, the question is whether AppScale will also start supporting it?

The LEAP stack is still young, but very promising to tackle the cloud vendor lock-in issue. You get a platform-like solution (AppScale) to ease your development (Microsoft Azure-style), the apps can get deployed on your own data center using Eucalyptus or on Amazon’s EC2 (thus creating kind of smooth migration path between the two) and it’s all open source.
As I told numerous times to Microsoft as well: please bring the Azure Services Platform concept to the on-premise data center as well, for the above stated reasons! Or will the open-source community stand up and create an open-source version of Azure Services Platform (like we have with Mono for .NET?).

Lee Provoost is a Cloud Computing Strategist and ERP+ lead at Capgemini. You can follow his ongoing stream of thoughts on Twitter