Steady User Growth Characterizes Cloud Foundry Ecosystem

The CF community now includes 173 user groups with 33,400-plus individual members across 105 cities in 48 countries, CEO Sam Ramji said.

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Cloud Foundry might be the only PaaS to have its own user conference—a three-day one, at that.

Cloud Foundry is an open source cloud platform-as-a-service operating owned as a joint venture by EMC, VMware and General Electric and run by the Cloud Foundry Foundation. Cloud Foundry was designed and developed by a small team from Google led by Derek Collison and originally was called Project B29.

The CF conference, held May 23-25 at the Santa Clara (California) Convention Center, drew about 2,000 attendees.

Cloud Foundry Foundation CEO Sam Ramji kicked off the event with a keynote address loaded with metrics and data points about the growth of the Cloud Foundry ecosystem.

Ramji cited the foundation's recent growth, including the addition of new members Allstate, Dynatrace, Evoila, Gemalto, Hazelcast, Volkswagen and TIBCO. The foundation now totals 63 members.

The CF community now includes 173 user groups with more than 33,400 individual members across 105 cities in 48 countries, Ramji said.

Ramji also announced that GE Predix and the French consultant Atos now offer certified distributions of Cloud Foundry, joining HPE Helion Cloud Foundry, Huawei FusionStage, IBM Bluemix, Pivotal Cloud Foundry, SAP HANA Cloud Platform and Swisscom Application Cloud.

Key Takeaways From the Event

"What I observed was there's been a lot more end-user participation, I think, than in the past," Chris Ferris, IBM's CTO of open technology, said on a podcast. "(There were) some really good talks by people doing really innovative things with the platform. It's really the broader adoption that I've observed, which is the high-level takeaway."

During his keynote, "Enterprise DevOps and Balancing Innovation," Brian Gallagher, president of the cloud platform team at EMC, shared some metrics from the huge storage company's latest research: 66 percent of large enterprises now have adopted DevOps; 93 percent of all enterprises are now using some form of cloud service; and 82 percent now deploy a multi-cloud strategy.

In a fireside chat between Pivotal Executive Chairman Paul Maritz and Ramji, the two men discussed the genesis of Cloud Foundry. When Ramji asked Maritz: "Why Cloud Foundry?" Maritz responded: "We wanted the cloud era to evolve in a different way. What Linux had done for hardware, we knew we could do for the cloud. Do it in a way that allowed people more choice."

Other Highlights

Other events worth noting:

-- Justin Smith of Pivotal offered up a presentation on security threats and how companies must take a holistic view of the entire landscape, rather than just identifying and pulling weeds. He ended with the mantra of "Repair, Repave, Rotate," as the way to view security in an age of exfiltration and other evils.

-- Vice-President of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Helion Bill Hilf announced the opening of a new Cloud Foundry Dojo (school for training) in Seattle, making it the seventh Dojo worldwide. The Dojo program supports rapid innovation by pairing programmers with experienced Cloud Foundry coders in an intensive, six-week boot camp. "Graduates" emerge as core contributors and become mentors to new Dojo participants.

-- GE Predix announced it is Cloud Foundry-certified.

-- Mendix announced its availability on IBM's Bluemix. The Mendix-Bluemix integration is enabled by the companies' shared support for Cloud Foundry.

-- Apigee announced the availability of its API management software for Pivotal's Cloud Foundry.

-- Cisco Systems' CTO of Cloud Services Ken Owens discussed the cloud-native transformation and the new application architecture, from platform to containerization.

-- The first public preview of Cloud Foundry service brokers for Azure was released. It enables developers to easily connect and configure Azure services, expanding the Cloud Foundry service ecosystem to Azure.

-- SwissCom partnered with Push2Cloud to open-source a framework that helps deploy complex architectures to Cloud Foundry.

-- EMC announced a new open source tool at Cloud Foundry Summit that enables developers to deploy applications to the cloud and IoT devices more securely and efficiently, by compiling application sources into unikernels, Unik.

-- The foundation's own Abby Kearns sat down for a fireside chat with Dell's Barton George and Cody Taylor to learn about Dell's internal transformation during the acquisition of EMC. She also addressed the role of open source and how it relates to Cloud Foundry.
"Transformation is a people and process issue. Just because you have matching T-shirts, beanbags and an open office doesn't make you innovative. There are no shortcuts and transformation is not easy. Cloud Foundry is a great enabler to innovation," Kearns said.

When asked about Pivotal and the importance of pair programming, Kearns noted, "We started pair programming to drive innovation. A developer who is used to working in a silo is now having to work in tandem with someone else at all times. As a team. We want to change the paradigm and ask devs to think about what they do, why they do it and how they can do it differently. That is part of the shift of transformation."

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...