IBM Takes Leading Role in Cloud Foundry Foundation

IBM becomes a Platinum sponsor of the newly formed Cloud Foundry Foundation along with Pivotal, EMC, HP, Rackspace, SAP and VMware.

Pivotal announced that it will move to establish a formal open governance model for the Cloud Foundry open-source project, known as the Cloud Foundry Foundation.

IBM will be joining Pivotal as a founding Platinum sponsor—as will enterprise software leaders EMC, Hewlett-Packard, Rackspace, SAP and VMware—to create an independent nonprofit foundation for the Cloud Foundry project. In addition, ActiveState and CenturyLink intend to join the foundation as Gold-level founding sponsors, Pivotal announced.

The foundation will be dedicated to the evolution and growth of the Cloud Foundry open-source project and the ecosystem and community around it.

"As software continues to disrupt every aspect of business, enterprises want the ability to develop and deploy applications and have the freedom to seamlessly deploy those applications across a wide variety of cloud-based platforms," said Paul Maritz, CEO of Pivotal, in a statement. "The foundation for Cloud Foundry will bring together industry leaders committed to the growth of the open PaaS [platform-as-a-service] movement, working in concert toward the development of an open cloud architecture that will enable a broad, open ecosystem that will allow many to contribute and benefit, creating applications and services that have major impact on business and our everyday lives."

Since the formation of Pivotal in April 2013, the ecosystem around the Cloud Foundry open-source project has progressed from a promising collection of early movers to a significant community working toward enterprise PaaS, with a steadily growing number of major companies participating in the project and more than 750 individual contributors. Continuing that spirit of contribution, each of the founding sponsors will participate in the development of the new organization's governance and provide resources to continue fostering a vibrant, collaborative community and ecosystem.

"The establishment of an independent Cloud Foundry foundation to develop and promote an open source platform-as-a-service project is an important step towards building an industry-wide open cloud architecture," said Dr. Angel Diaz, vice president of Open Technology and Cloud Performance Solutions at IBM.

"EMC wholeheartedly supports open, collaborative efforts like the Cloud Foundry project to drive platform-as-a-service forward," said John Roese, chief technology officer at EMC, in a statement. "Open PaaS will give customers the unprecedented freedom to deploy their workloads to any private, public or hybrid cloud environment—eliminating vendor lock-in and giving customers choice."

IBM touted its support for the new Cloud Foundry Foundation at its IBM Pulse 2014 conference in Las Vegas. Indeed, IBM announced the beta release of its BlueMix technology, which leverages Cloud Foundry. BlueMix is a PaaS/services combination, built on open standards and taking advantage of Cloud Foundry, that enables developers to avoid vendor lock-in while leveraging their existing application development assets and skills, which is essential for building hybrid clouds. With BlueMix, IBM is providing developers with an open, flexible cloud environment connecting the enterprise and born-on-the-Web developers using their choice of tools, whether IBM, third-party or open technologies, in a scalable environment.

In a blog post on IBM's support for the new foundation, Diaz said:

"This announcement signals a solid commitment by the new Platinum sponsors to create a truly open community and ecosystem, one that accelerates development and drives robust growth. We've seen this before. OpenStack evolved along a very similar path two years ago; and it has grown to become the most popular open source Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform in the industry with a broad ecosystem of supporters in this short amount of time. For example, at the time of the OpenStack Diablo release (September 2011), Rackspace contributed 53 percent of the code along with a total of 31 companies and 175 individuals. As of the OpenStack Havana release (November 2013), the largest company contributor represented only 22 percent of the total code and had the help of 131 total companies and 1,023 individuals to complete the release. That translates to over 400 percent growth in contributing companies and almost 600 percent growth in individual code contributors. That's what we like to call an open ecosystem!"

IBM takes pride in supporting Cloud Foundry with code contributions since joining the team in mid-2013, he added, and the company is working to become a significant contributor.

Diaz said a new Cloud Foundry Summit is being scheduled for this spring in San Francisco. The conference will focus on providing a place for current contributors to highlight recent accomplishments and update the community on features that will be delivered in the coming year.

"New features on the horizon include items such as further improvements in the elastic runtime's architecture (Diego), identity management, metrics and monitoring, and more cloud provider interfaces (CPIs) for BOSH and improvements and optimizations of the OpenStack CPI just to name a few, making it simple to build user-centric applications for your customers," he said.