Thursday, November 23, 2017

It’s an ever more open world. How containers and open source will transform the data centre beyond recognition

The value of open source is changing business roadmaps previously built on fixed terms. More control, end of vendor lock-in and constant updates are just some of the benefits of the open world, Abby Kearns, executive director at the Cloud Foundry Foundation tells João Marques Lima.


What is the value of open source?

Overview of the Cloud Foundry Foundation.

AK: Open source is valuable because it is allowing you control. You avoid lock-in into a vendor, you avoid lock-in into a particular solution. In addition, you also have the ability to influence where it is going and influence the upstream.

Organisations that are shy about participating or investing heavily in open source could miss out an opportunity that can really change their business and get people excited.


Is data centre open source software a threat to colocation providers?

AK: It is not a threat, it is an opportunity for them to engage in a quickly changing industry. Our industry has evolved quite dramatically, and the role data centres and infrastructure plays in that is continuing to quickly evolve.

While many of enterprise organisations are now investing heavily in software, they are also at the same time reducing their investments on data centres around infrastructure, taking advantage of both the shared managed solutions as well as the public cloud.

There is a huge opportunity for them in that evolution. A hot topic in the open source space are containers.


How is the containerisation of the world changing the data centre?

AK: It is already changing data centres in the same way hypervisors changed the data centre world. Containers have been around since 1979.

Early containers and even early hypervisor solutions where there to get density out of the infrastructure. We are continuing to see that growth and containers allow the density and portability and more importantly that resilience around the application.

If the infrastructure goes away – which we all know it will -, [containers make] sure that applications continue to be available and able to scale.


How do you rate the importance of what you are trying to achieve with Cloud Foundry?

AK: It is deeply important. Most enterprises are currently undergoing a transformation, they are trying to become software companies, and really take advantage of technology in new ways.

Cloud Foundry provides a platform for these organisations to transform and to offer developers the freedom to create and to quickly take an idea and get it into production. For us it is deeply important the role Cloud Foundry plays in enabling that transformation and providing that technology framework as these organisations change their culture around it.


How will you expand?

AK: We, as an open source foundation, are always eager to bring end users and people that have been using Cloud Foundry to make their business transformation and be part of our community and contribute both back to the platform and the technology.

They can also be an active member in saying where we should go next and what we should spend our time doing, because that is the real value of open source; it is having a diverse set of people in organisations that are influencing the outcome.


Where is the community telling you to go?

AK: Cloud Foundry brings that enterprise grade experience to developers to allow them to run and deploy their apps, the freedom to create apps, while still offering that resiliency, the scale and security they are looking for.

There will be a continuous focus on that. A lot of the things coming out of that are really enabling broader scale, building on the reliability and sustainability that we already have on the platform.


This article originally appeared in the Data Economy magazine. To read more on data centres, cloud and data, visit here