As we mentioned earlier this week, VMware has come out with a slew of announcements. Though this weeks announcements from Citrix and VMware are all about infrastructure, you shouldn't forget one hidden gem that is seeing further progress, VMware's Cloud Foundry. This is an open platform that provides a wide range of choices for developers to build and run apps in Spring, Rails, Sinatra and Node.js across multiple environments. You can deploy these apps from your own IDE or from a Linux/Unix command line using their vmc tool, which is built in Ruby Gems by the way.

Sign up here on CloudFoundry.com to get your credentials first. It took me just a couple of hours before I got mine, despite a warning on the site that it could be a matter of days. Also on this site are FAQs and instructional videos. Soon to come is what VMware is calling "Micro Cloud" which will replicate a complete instance of the Cloud Foundry project on your own desktop for testing purposes. It will be available as a VMware image "within a few weeks" according to their announcement.

To get started, you need Ruby at least v1.87 and Ruby Gems at least v1.7.2 on your desktop. There is an intro video here on how to use the vmc command line that controls your apps and puts them up in the cloud.

Be sure to register and visit their community site where you can search the knowledge base, ask questions and submit ideas.