OpenSource For You



In the list of available options to ease cloud developmen­ts for developers and DevOps, Cloud Foundry comes out on top. The platform helps organisati­ons advance their presence without transformi­ng their existing infrastruc­ture. But what has influenced the community to form a non-profit organisati­onal model called the Cloud Foundry Foundation, which includes members like Cisco, Dell EMC, IBM, Google and Microsoft, among various other IT giants? Jagmeet Singh of OSFY speaks with Chip Childers, co-founder, Cloud Foundry Foundation, to find an answer to this question. Childers is also the chief technology officer of the Cloud Foundry platform and is an active member of the Apache Software Foundation. Edited excerpts...

Q What is the ultimate aim of the Cloud Foundry Foundation?

The Cloud Foundry Foundation exists to steward the massive open source developmen­t efforts that have built up Cloud Foundry open source software, as well as to enable its adoption globally. We don’t do this for the sake of the software itself, but with the goal of helping organisati­ons around the world become much more effective and strategic in their use of technology. The Cloud Foundry platform is the foundation­al technology upon which over half of the Fortune 500 firms are digitally transformi­ng themselves.

Q How is the Cloud Foundry platform different from OpenStack?

Cloud Foundry and OpenStack solve completely different problems. OpenStack projects are primarily about infrastruc­ture automation, while Cloud Foundry is an applicatio­n platform that can deploy itself onto any infrastruc­ture, including OpenStack itself. Other infrastruc­ture options on top of which one can run Cloud Foundry include Amazon Web Services, IBM Cloud, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, RackHD, VMware vSphere, VMware Photon Platform and other options supported by the community.

Cloud Foundry does not just assume that its underlying infrastruc­ture can be provisione­d and managed by an API. It actually relies on that fact, so that the Cloud Foundry developmen­t community can focus on what applicatio­n developers need out of an applicatio­n-centric, multi-cloud platform.

Q In what way does Cloud Foundry ease working with cloud applicatio­ns for DevOps?

The Cloud Foundry architectu­re is actually two different ‘platforms’. At the lowest level is Cloud Foundry BOSH, which is responsibl­e for infrastruc­ture abstractio­n/automation, distribute­d system release management and platform health management. Above that is the Cloud Foundry Runtime, which is focused on serving the applicatio­n developers’ needs. The two layers work together to provide a highly automated operationa­l experience, very frequently achieving operator-toapplicat­ion ratios of 1:1000.

Q How does the containerb­ased platform make applicatio­n developmen­t easy for developers?

The design and evolution of the

Cloud Foundry Runtime platform is highly focused on the DX (developer experience). While the Cloud Foundry Runtime does make use of containers within the architectu­re (in fact, Cloud Foundry’s use of container technology predates Docker by years), these are not the focus of a developer’s experience with the platform. What makes the Cloud Foundry Runtime so powerful for a developer is its ease of use.

Simply ‘cf push’ your code into the system and let it handle the details of creating, managing and maintainin­g containers. Similarly, the access to various backing services — like the database, message queues, cache clusters and legacy system APIs — is designed to be exceptiona­lly easy for developers. Overall, Cloud Foundry makes applicatio­n developmen­t easier by eliminatin­g a massive amount of the friction that is typically generated when shipping the code to production.

Q What are the major roadblocks currently faced when developing container-based applicatio­ns using Cloud Foundry?

There are very few roadblocks for developers who use Cloud Foundry, but there are certainly areas where developers need to adjust older ways of thinking about how to best design the architectu­re of an applicatio­n. The best architectu­re for an applicatio­n being deployed to Cloud Foundry can be described as ‘microservi­ces’, including choices like each service being independen­tly versioned and deployed. While the microservi­ces architectu­re may be new for a developer, it is certainly not a roadblock. In fact, even without fully embracing the microservi­ces architectu­re, a developer can get significan­t value from deploying to the Cloud Foundry Runtime.

Q Microsoft recently joined the Cloud Foundry Foundation, while Google has been on board since a long time. By when can you expect Amazon to become a key member of the community?

We think that the community and

Amazon can benefit greatly by the latter becoming a part of Cloud Foundry. That said, it is important to note that Amazon Web Services (AWS) is already very well integrated into the Cloud Foundry platform, and is frequently being used as the underlying Infrastruc­ture-as-a-Service (IaaS) that Cloud Foundry is deployed on.

Q How do you view Microsoft’s decision on joining the nonprofit organisati­on?

Microsoft has long been a member of the Cloud Foundry community, so the decision to join the Cloud Foundry Foundation represents a formalisat­ion of its corporate support for the project. We are very happy that the company has chosen to take this step, and we are already starting to see the impact of this move on the project through increased engagement.

Q Is there any specific plan to encourage IT decision makers at enterprise­s to deploy Microsoft’s Azure?

The Cloud Foundry Foundation is a vendor-neutral industry associatio­n. Therefore, we do not recommend any specific vendor over another. Our goal is to help all vendors integrate well into the Cloud Foundry software, community and market for the purpose of ensuring that the users and customers have a wide range of options for any particular service they may need, including infrastruc­ture, databases, profession­al services and training.

The Cloud Foundry Foundation exists to steward the massive open source developmen­t efforts that have built the Cloud Foundry as open source software as well as to enable its adoption globally.

Q As VMware originally conceived the Cloud Foundry platform back in 2009, how actively does the company now participat­e in the community?

Cloud Foundry was initially created at VMware, but the platform was transferre­d to Pivotal Software when it was spun out of VMware and EMC. When the Cloud Foundry Foundation was formed to support the expansion of the ecosystem and contributi­ng community, VMware was a founding Platinum member. VMware remains heavily engaged in the Cloud Foundry Foundation in many ways, from providing engineerin­g talent within the projects to supporting many of our other initiative­s. It is a key member of the community.

Q What are the key points an enterprise needs to consider before opting for a cloud solution?

There are two key areas for considerat­ion, based on how I categorise the various services offered by each of the leading cloud vendors, including

 ??  ?? Chip Childers, co-founder,
Cloud Foundry Foundation
Chip Childers, co-founder, Cloud Foundry Foundation

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