IBM Makes Pivotal Move to Support Cloud Foundry PaaS

IBM and Pivotal announced a partnership aimed at pushing the Cloud Foundry Platform as a Service to critical mass.

IBM and Pivotal announced that the two companies will collaborate on further development of the Cloud Foundry platform and open-source project and work toward establishing an open governance model for the community.

In essence, IBM has agreed to put its considerable weight behind Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry as the platform of choice for building cloud-based applications. Cloud Foundry is an interoperable platform-as-a-service (PaaS) framework that allows users to have freedom of choice across cloud infrastructure and application programming models, and cloud applications.

Working with more than 9,000 cloud clients, IBM sees an increasing appetite for cloud-based mobile, social and analytics applications from line-of-business executives, the company said. CIOs need a more open and vibrant cloud development platform, such as Cloud Foundry, to meet that demand and avoid vendor lock-in. An open Cloud Foundry platform enables clients to rapidly build, deploy and manage cloud applications in a more agile and scalable manner, with confidence. For example, a retailer can quickly create an e-commerce app to take advantage of a current promotion that could run on various cloud infrastructures.

IBM and Pivotal made their announcement at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) in Portland, Ore.

“When you’re working at the application layer, if you have Cloud Foundry as the way to build cloud-based apps, you’ll have an easier time of doing that,” Angel Diaz, IBM’s vice president of software standards and cloud labs, told eWEEK. “We had a solid infrastructure story. The piece missing was what we were doing around the platform—the PaaS.”

“Cloud Foundry's potential to transform business is vast, and steps like the one taken today help open the ecosystem up for greater client innovation,” said Daniel Sabbah, general manager of Next Generation Platforms at IBM, in a statement. “IBM will incorporate Cloud Foundry into its open cloud architecture, and put its full support behind Cloud Foundry as an open and collaborative platform for cloud application development, as it has done historically for key technologies such as Linux and OpenStack.”

Indeed, Diaz likens IBM’s support for Cloud Foundry to what Big Blue has done with OpenStack and says he expects IBM to be just as involved with the Cloud Foundry effort as it has been with OpenStack and the OpenStack Foundation. He said IBM will be very active in the Cloud Foundry community and will contribute code to the project, just as it has to OpenStack—where IBM is the No. 2 contributor to that effort, Diaz noted.