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Cloud Foundry is also 100 percent about competition with Amazon Web Services, said Jamie Shepard, the North America regional vice president of Lumenate, a Dallas-based national solution provider making a significant investment in the big data arena.
The backing to develop Cloud Foundry is "huge" because the technology supports the development of apps, Shepard said.
Channel partners, he said, are going to need the support of Pivotal and IBM to expand their business model -- by adding consulting services, for example.
Pivotal, he said, understands the need to embrace the channel.
Pivotal gives solution providers and businesses the building blocks needed to build big data applications and services for the cloud. In Europe, for example, Pivotal is working with a company to develop a service for doctors that cross-references genetic history and patient information using big data algorithms, the San Mateo, Calif.-based company said.
EMC, Hopkinton, Mass, owns about 80 percent of VMware, which specializes in virtualizing servers, often the first step to the cloud.
IBM is a big brand and has a lot of customers, expertise and experience, Pivotal's Piper said. He said he thinks IBM's backing will help Cloud Foundry run better.
IBM's Ferris said his company wants Cloud Foundry to benefit from its involvement in the same way that OpenStack did. IBM financial sponsorship, as well technical, legal and marketing know-how, helped the OpenStack community grow from a few hundred sponsors and contributors to one of the most robust open source projects being developed, Ferris said.
"IBM is fully committed to open source and an open ecosystem," he said.