Jelastic is building what it says is "the next generation Java and PHP cloud hosting platform."  Now, it has enlisted the father of PHP himself to help in that endeavor. On Monday, the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provider announced that Rasmus Lerdorf has signed on as an "Advisor" to provide technical expertise for PHP cloud hosting.

It's hard not to compare Lerdorf to Linus Torvalds, the founder of the Linux kernel. They're both Scandinavian natives—Torvalds is a Swedish-speaking Finn and Lerdorf a native of Greenland, which makes him Danish (tangential thought: Denmark controls a huge portion of North America, yet no one seems to realize it, except maybe the Danes)—who developed open source software that has played a central role in defining computing as we know it.  Like Linux, PHP, which Lerdforf introduced in 1994, powers millions of websites around the world. It remains one of the most popular server-side scripting languages today, despite competition from newer alternatives.

Starting this week, Lerdorf, who currently works full-time as an engineer at Etsy, will be offering his expertise to Jelastic. His official title there is Advisor and the exact nature of the contributions he will make appears to be flexible.

For Jelastic executives, however, simply associating Lerdorf and his fame with their cloud-hosting platform is reason enough for celebration. As CEO Ruslan Synytsky said:

Rasmus is an iconic figure in our world and we are honored that he is advising us. His contributions to PHP are awe inspiring. Having the creator of PHP on board signifies how serious Jelastic is about being the best PaaS in the world. As part of the Jelastic team, we plan to utilize his knowledge and skills and apply them to making Jelastic even better!

Lerdorf's collaboration with Jelastic follows the announcement last month that Mark Zbikowski, another important figure in the history of computing who was a leading software engineer at Microsoft (MSFT) from 1981 until 2006, became a part of the team. Serguei Beloussov, who founded the Parallels virtualization platform, also advises Jelastic.

Jelastic is competing in a very tight and rapidly evolving sector of the channel. But it has solid talent behind it as it seeks to build the most scalable and efficient cloud platform for PHP and Java hosting.