Looking to make sure that the Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment remains relevant regardless of the types of applications deployed on it, Pivotal, a unit of EMC, announced this week that everything from Docker images and Microsoft.Net applications to the open source stack of software developed by Netflix can run natively on Cloud Foundry.
Ian Andrews, senior director of marketing and business development for Pivotal, says that regardless of the type of software artifact being created, Pivotal is committed to making sure it can run on Cloud Foundry, whether it’s deployed inside or out of the cloud. In fact, Andrews says the developers of Cloud Foundry don’t get enough credit in terms of how flexible the Cloud Foundry PaaS environment really is. Initially designed around its own container framework, the Cloud Foundry PaaS has proven to be extensible in multiple directions, thereby providing organizations that adopt Cloud Foundry a level of investment protection, says Andrews.
Andrews says that support for Docker images and Microsoft.Net is baked into the core version of Cloud Foundry. Support for the Netflix OSS software stack is provided via Spring Cloud Services, a development environment that Pivotal created to run on top of its distribution of Cloud Foundry.
In addition, Pivotal announced this week that it is providing support for Cloud Foundry running on the Microsoft Azure cloud. However, Andrews notes that at least for the moment, most of the implementations of the Pivotal distribution of Cloud Foundry are actually running on premise.
In general, Andrews notes that IT organizations of all sizes are accelerating the development of “cloud native” applications for fear of being disrupted by one startup or another making use of the cloud to deliver disruptive applications. Cloud Foundry, says Andrews, provides a foundation through which IT organizations can adapt to rapidly emerging technologies such as Docker while preserving previous investments in Microsoft.Net applications.
The degree to which IT organizations adopt PaaS environments to achieve that goal will naturally vary. But the future of application development will to one degree or another depend on the cloud. The challenge facing IT organizations is finding a way to participate in the process at a time when both the style of developing applications and the platform they are being developed on is subject to change at any moment.