Pivotal Brings Cloud Foundry PaaS into Full Release

by Sean Michael Kerner

After years of development, Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service is now ready for mass consumption as part of Pivotal One.

Cloud Foundry is now finally ready for full widespread enterprise deployments. That's the message coming from Pivotal, the EMC and VMware spin-off company that took hold of the Cloud Foundry project in a bid to accelerate the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) marketplace.

VMware launched Cloud Foundry in 2011, and the technology moved to Pivotal in April as part of the spin-out of Pivotal from VMware and EMC assets.

The new Pivotal One offering was first talked about by Pivotal in April of this year as being a collection of tools and services that build a complete PaaS experience. The core Cloud Foundry PaaS solution is a fast moving open source effort that the Pivotal One offering is aiming to make more consumable for enterprises.

James Watters, head of product, marketing and ecosystem for Cloud Foundry at Pivotal, told ServerWatch that one of the goals for Pivotal One is to provide an easier installation experience for Cloud Foundry. That goal has been achieved in the new enterprise distribution of Cloud Foundry, which is now called Pivotal CF.

Watters explained that with Pivotal CF, administrators just need to plug it into a VMware vSphere server and the PaaS will build itself out with all the required components.

"It's really a turn-key PaaS for what we've been calling the Elastic Runtime layer," Watters said. "This is the first time that there will be a generally available Cloud Foundry product that is available for use behind the firewall, and that's a huge milestone after three years of effort."

From a technical perspective, Cloud Foundry's new installation approach is actually based on the BOSH open source tool that VMware first debuted in 2012. BOSH is a tool for release engineering, deployment and lifecycle management of large-scale distributed systems.

"Pivotal CF includes an auto-configured and simplified version of BOSH," Watters said.

From a deployment perspective, the Pivotal CF solution exists as an Open Virtual Appliance (OVA) format, which is then deployed onto virtualization infrastructure. That virtual appliance used Ubuntu Linux as the bare metal operating system. Pivotal now has a commercial relationship with Ubuntu, though Watters noted that Cloud Foundry has been on Ubuntu since it started.

In addition to the Pivotal CF solution, there are also the Pivotal HD and Pivotal AX Analytics solutions that round out the entire Pivotal One stack.

"These are the things that combined with the operation runtime manager, let organizations start to operate PaaS at scale, Watters said.

Pivotal HD is a Big Data Hadoop stack along with massively parallel database technology from Greenplum called Hawk. Pivotal AX provides a general purpose analytics solution.


Pivotal has a publicly announced working relationship with OpenStack vendor Piston Cloud, though OpenStack is not an initial target for Pivotal One. Support at this time is for the simplified installer only on VMware vSphere, although the full management software stack is available for all platforms.

"Today we do not support a GUI-based install on OpenStack, but that is coming next year," Watters said. "We expect over time to support VMware, Amazon and OpenStack."

From a pricing perspective, Pivotal is not taking a typical per-server core model. Instead Pivotal is taking a per-application instance model.

"It comes down to the number of operating system containers running on the platform," Watters said. "Customers love this because it divorces them from core counting, which we think is ludicrous in the age of the cloud."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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This article was originally published on Wednesday Nov 13th 2013
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