Zend Technologies, the makers of Zend Server and sponsors of open source PHP projects like Zend Framework and Zend Engine, announced today at its ZenCon event that it is launching a PHP platform-as-a-service called PHPCloud.com. The PaaS is based on Zend Application Fabric and will run on multiple public cloud infrastructures, including Amazon Web Services, Rackspace and IBM SmartCloud, or run in a private cloud infrastructures. Zend Technologies has partnerships with RightScale, Amazon, IBM, Rackspace and Red Hat.
Zend Technologies was founded by core PHP contributors Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski in 1999. Gutmans and Suraski and Zend have been an integral part of the PHP community since the early days of the language.
PHPCloud.com will compete with other PHP PaaSes, including EngineYard’s Orchestra, Microsoft Azure and AppFog – all of which are capable of running the Zend Framework.
The portable PaaS element is key. At the moment PaaS providers are scrambling to offer their services on multiple infrastructures. Heroku announced during a press and analyst Q&A session at Dreamforce that it will make its PaaS available on IaaS providers other than AWS, and AppFog CEO Lucas Carlson confirmed to me that AppFog is planning to expand its IaaS support as well (Joyent recently told The Register that it would be one of the cloud providers AppFog will support). Portability is one of the next big trends for cloud providers.
Zend Technologies is a real force in PHP and the ability to provide portability combined with its strong partnerships make this one to watch.