Other PaaS choices
cloud.gov is not built from scratch; the bulk of the work is done in the open source Cloud Foundry project, which is open to anyone, including vendors in the PaaS space.
Using Cloud Foundry and making cloud.gov available as open source raises the “lowest common denominator” capabilities that agencies should expect from any PaaS vendor, while enabling greater competition.
Commercial vendors can provide managed services and support/consulting options that are beyond the capabilities of cloud.gov. An open source PaaS built specifically for the needs of federal agencies can decrease vendor lock-in to services that don’t add value, while broadening the market for vendors who have value-adding capabilities that cloud.gov does not. Because every part of cloud.gov is open source, including the deployment, any vendor or agency can follow our path and provide value-adding alternatives based on an agency’s specific needs.
Cloud Foundry vendors
Cloud Foundry maintains a list of certified commercial vendors. The common use of the Cloud Foundry API provides easy mobility from cloud.gov to commercial vendors’ services for government-developed applications as warranted, or vice-versa.
Non-Cloud Foundry vendors
cloud.gov increases the migration of government applications to a 12-factor architecture, making PaaS and similar products more usable for government digital products. 12-factor applications have very little dependency on the exact platform that is supporting them, so they can be ported from cloud.gov to non-Cloud Foundry solutions more easily than applications designed for a straight IaaS model.
Because cloud.gov is open source, vendors of non-Cloud Foundry systems have open access to how it works. They can provide easy on-ramp solutions to migrate government applications to their platform, or innovate on top of what cloud.gov is doing.