Thursday, October 19, 2017

#CFSummit 2017: Cloud Foundry makes strongest bid for cloud containers in its history

Nearly 3,000 developers are to gain access to a complete new suite of services bulked up by Atos, Huawei, IBM, Pivotal, SAP and Swisscom contributions into the open source family.

Basel, Switzerland – The Cloud Foundry Foundation has launched its first online marketplace to foster containers open source development, one of the organisation’s major announcements since it was founded in 2011.

The release comes as an answer to the ongoing growing demand for containerised architectures, as 67% of enterprises in 2017 admit they are using or evaluating the use of containerised cloud environments. This is up from 53% in 2016, according to the foundation’s GPS Wave 4 survey published in the “Hope Versus Reality, One Year Later: An Update on Containers” report.

Announced at the company’s flagship Cloud Foundry European Summit in Basel, Switzerland, the beta version of the marketplace, named The Foundry, is now available to nearly 3,000 community contributors within the Cloud Foundry’s global footprint. Up to 1,000 community members are believed to have been present for the launch.

The platform, which is being rolled out in different phases, is available on phase one for distributions, services, add-on technology, education and other services, compiling different ‘stack’ categories from system integrators to applications in a single location.

The first phase of availability has been designed to focus on the organisations that provide tools and services that are used by developers to build and prototype applications.

They include frameworks, runtimes, databases, messaging, API gateways, back-end connectors, identity management services, and others.

It is a directory of more than 600 solutions and services, including Cloud Foundry distributions from Atos, Huawei, IBM, Pivotal, SAP and Swisscom.

Cloud Foundry added that the offering will in the future also incorporate associated technologies including those tied to operations and line of business engagement within the Cloud Foundry Community.

Chip Childers, CTO, Cloud Foundry Foundation, said: “Cloud Foundry is more than just software — it encompasses an ecosystem of distributions, application services, training, IaaS providers, consultants and integrators that provide a full range of solutions to our users. As more organisations adopt open source in general — and Cloud Foundry in particular — ecosystems are becoming more diverse.

“Today we launched an online ‘marketplace’ for Cloud Foundry users just getting started, or for those who want to expand their use of the platform.”


Containers get a run for their simplicity

Adding to the launch of the marketplace, Cloud Foundry has also rebranded its Kubo project to Cloud Foundry Container Runtime (CFCR) in a bid to bring together its marketing and the platform’s reachability and usability.

The offering has now been made the foundation’s default approach to container deployments using Kubernetes and Bosch.

The project was originally donated to the Cloud Foundry in June this year by Pivotal and Google, and was put in place to help the organisation attract more enterprise users and contributors to its network.

Cloud Foundry users can now use Container Runtime to deploy Kubernetes or Application Runtime (previously Elastic Runtime) for a Cloud Application Platform. In either case, Bosch underpins infrastructure provisioning for both Cloud Foundry runtimes.

Container Runtime can also now claim default support for Istio, with ongoing compatibility testing planned as both projects continue to evolve.

In addition, default support for persistence of Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Vsphere are now available for the Container Runtime project.

Abby Kearns, Executive Director, Cloud Foundry Foundation, said: “The technology has progressed quickly—after only four months in incubation, the first commercial offering has already been launched.

“Container Runtime expands the capabilities of Cloud Foundry beyond Application Runtime [an app-centric platform that simplifies the entire development lifecycle], giving enterprises more options to take advantage of cloud-native best practices.

“With nearly 70% of enterprises using containers in some capacity, choice is critical. This expansion enables businesses to take advantage of the power of Kubernetes combined with Bosh, an open source, enterprise-grade management tool.”


Expanding the community

As the open source movement gains momentum, so does the Cloud Foundry Foundation, which, in addition to the announcements made in Basel, has also added The Home Depot as a gold member, joining other giants of the likes of Allianz, American Airlines, Ford, Google, GE, Microsoft and Swisscom.

The foundation is also backed by other large IT corporations including Cisco, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Pivotal, SAP and SUSE.

As part of its gold membership, The Home Depot will also be adding two of its people to the Cloud Foundry board of directors, however, no names have been made publicly available.

Paul Gaffney, senior vice president – Information Technology, The Home Depot, said: “The efficiency and resiliency of the cloud and our commitment to Cloud Foundry will allow us to bring more agile solutions to rapidly respond to our customers and our team.”

Also commenting, Cloud Foundry’s Kearns said: “The Home Depot is another example of the world’s most innovative companies using Cloud Foundry to digitally transform their business.

“Making the shift from being a more traditional retail company to a truly digital organisation takes a lot of hard work and focus. I am truly awed by the speed with which The Home Depot has made this shift.”

In other member-related news, SUSE has updated its container as a service (CaaS) platform based on Kubernetes technology and has also previewed the SUSE Cloud Application Platform, based on Cloud Foundry and also Kubernetes technologies

Additionally, Stark & Wayne has partnered with Chef to build a native integration between Cloud Foundry and Habitat, an open source project led by Chef that gives developers and operations teams control over the cloud-native application lifecycle.

Also at the European summit, Mendix and SAP have announced a global reseller agreement in which SAP will resell and support the Mendix Platform as “SAP Cloud Platform Rapid Application Development by Mendix.”

The solution has been built to help customers unlock the potential of low-code developers to build and deploy enterprise applications up to 10x faster and is powered by the SAP Cloud Platform which includes the integration of the wider SAP set of services including SAP Leonardo built for IoT edge computing applications.

Björn Goerke, SAP Cloud Platform president and chief technology officer, SAP, said: “SAP believes open source communities are incredibly important to the future of technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning – not to mention cloud and containers.

“This is why SAP is not only a founding member and platinum sponsor of the Cloud Foundry Foundation, but also delivers on its promise of leveraging open technology by operating the Cloud Foundry environment in SAP Cloud Platform on multiple public cloud infrastructures.”


Read more about Cloud Foundry and containers here where Abby Kearns, executive director of the Cloud Foundry Foundation, opens up about the new opportunities in the cloud space.