Jawad Khaki

Former Microsoft vice president Jawad Khaki drew on his Tanzanian heritage as inspiration for his new startup company, Uhuru Software. In the Kiswahili language, Uhuru translates to freedom.

And that’s the best word that the 20-year Microsoft vet could find to describe the mission of the new cloud startup, founded with former Microsoft general manager Jawaid Ekram.

“Developers should have the freedom to (write) in the languages and frameworks they prefer,” Khaki says. “IT managers should have the flexibility to deploy the bits developed anywhere, in clouds hosted behind enterprise firewalls or in clouds hosted off-premises without being tied to any single vendor.”

Khaki’s company today unveiled Uhuru .NET Services, a product which he says “marks the industry’s first native Microsoft .NET extensions” for VMware’s Cloud Foundry offering.

“With .NET Services for Cloud Foundry, .NET developers can use the tools they are already familiar with, like Visual Studio and Microsoft Management Console snap-ins, and still quickly deploy software they write to whichever cloud service they wish to use,” said Khaki.

Charles Fitzgerald, a VMware strategist and former Microsoft manager, said that there is a huge opportunity to bring .NET to the cloud.

“Microsoft has obviously had trouble getting traction with Azure, in no small part because it only supports a mutant dialect of .NET which means apps that run on Azure can’t go anywhere else and developers are locked into Microsoft’s cloud,” explains Fitzgerald.  “The Cloud Foundry approach is to support standard frameworks as opposed to mutant proprietary versions and we look forward to working with the community to help .NET developers get to the cloud via Cloud Foundry.”

Founded earlier this year, Uhuru employs 10 people and has raised cash from the founders and an undisclosed investor. Uhuru co-founder Ekram said the startup’s mission is to bring the best of .NET and open source software together.

“In today’s announcement we are taking the first step in offering open source capabilities to .NET developers, so they can benefit from the agility and flexibility that cloud computing offers,” said Ekram.

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  • Guest

    I wasn’t aware of the Azure .Net limitation. That’s pretty stupid if it’s accurate.

  • Mike T

    If I understand Azure correctly, the biggest difference is the blob storage–very similar to S3 storage. But that raw storage can be packaged up as a volume (again, similar to the Elastic Block Storage in AWS) for file i/o with the limitation that a volume can only be mounted on one server at a time. Apparently there are Azure SQL differences as well, the reason for which I don’t understand but are probably linked to the same scaling issues that drive the stateless blob storage vs the mounted volume.

    All of this is needed in order to build a true cloud-based application, as opposed to a virtualized enterprise application. Most people do not need a real cloud service–one that can scale from several users to hundreds of thousands of users (or more), so these limitations aren’t so severe. But running in a cloud instead of a virtualized server environment costs extra effort so the deployment decision must take that effort into account.

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