Perhaps because it’s several years old now and is intrinsically connected (via Pivotal) with the behemoth that is Dell Technologies, Cloud Foundry often gets overlooked in discussions about containers and cloud-native computing. That’s probably a mistake. Cloud Foundry is not as new and sexy as Kubernetes, but as far as “cloud-native” technologies go, it’s everywhere. It’s also running production workloads, which is an even bigger deal.
“Cloud Foundry today powers cloud initiatives at public companies alone with a combined market capitalization greater than $3.2 trillion.
”… Cloud Foundry and Cloud Foundry-based solutions are now the platform of choice for an ever-growing list of leaders in financial services, IoT, government, automotive and telcos, including Allianz, Comcast, Fidelity, Ford, Google, IBM, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and many others.“
Some of those are no doubt paying Pivotal customers, but I think it’s safe to assume there’s a reasonable amount of open source Cloud Foundry out there, as well.
This is the kind of adoption and maturity that gets people paying attention, especially CIOs just getting ready to make their big cloud moves. It’s why, on Tuesday, Microsoft announced it is joining Cloud Foundry
as a Gold member, and why Google did the same back in March.
If you’re trying to win workloads, and distinguish yourself, from Amazon Web Services, embracing popular open source platforms is a good way to do it. Sure, you might prefer everyone to run all your proprietary services and watch those margins swell, but a customer is a customer when you’re competing against a seemingly unstoppable force like AWS.
Will Cloud Foundry still be a major strategic advantage 5 years from now? Who knows. Microsoft
are both betting pretty big on Kubernetes as being the platform of the future (the Docker and the Mesos communities might still make some noise, too), and even Pivotal acknowledges that customers are asking about Kubernetes for certain workloads. This, according to Mee, was an impetus for Pivotal and Google to create Kubo—an integration that allows Cloud Foundry’s BOSH to manage Kubernetes services.
There are many ways this all could play out from an integration perspective, as well as from a competitive one. Acquisitions could happen. Cloud Foundry could wrap its platform tooling more tightly around Kubernetes. But the moral of the story is we probably should all pay more attention to Cloud Foundry.