Pivotal's Latest Cloud Foundry Release, With Help From Netflix, Should Drive Enterprise PaaS Business To VARs

Pivotal's latest Cloud Foundry release has a number of new features -- some developed and hardened by Netflix -- designed to make it easier for software developers to adopt modern methodologies.

The Cloud Foundry update, rolled out earlier this week, bolsters the Platform-as-a-Service by including as a fully managed service Spring Cloud -- a set of open-source tools for agile software development that has been spawned by a collaboration between Pivotal and the online video streaming giant.

Ian Andrews, who runs Pivotal's Advanced Technology Group, told CRN the 1.6 release will benefit solution providers deploying PaaS to enterprises, especially EMC channel partners with large customers looking for cutting-edge development environments.

[Related: Pivotal Delivers Cloud Foundry To AWS]

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"When we talk about the opportunity for resellers and VARs who deliver Cloud Foundry to their customer base, the sum of what we released [this week] goes a long way to increasing the total addressable market that’s interested in using Cloud Foundry," Andrews told CRN.

Pivotal is a joint venture of EMC and its subsidiary VMware.

Spring is a Java framework "that acts as a scaffolding to support applications," Andrews explained. "If you're an enterprise Java developer, you're probably using Spring as your baseline framework."

The software stems from Spring Source, which years ago was acquired by VMware and later placed under the Pivotal umbrella.

Pivotal is seeing across its global customer base a surge in demand for that type of solution, Andrews told CRN.

"Fortune 100, 500, 1,000 customers, all are experiencing a shift in how they build software and the value of technology in the organization," Andrews said.

That shift is partly driven by intense competition to deliver "compelling visual experiences on mobile" devices, he said.

Those businesses are turning to Pivotal to enable agile development methodologies such as continuous delivery and a micro-services architecture in which single-purpose functions are reused.

"That trend our own Pivotal apps developers have been espousing for several years," he said.

Netflix, through its Open Source Software Center, has become a major contributor to the Spring Cloud project, having authored several modules.

They include a service discovery component called Eureka, a circuit breaker called Hystrix and a stream aggregator called Turbine.

Spring Cloud Services for Cloud Foundry now makes those components a built-in feature of the platform.

"We worked with them to package that into the Spring Cloud framework, which makes it easier for Spring developers to use those features and package them into managed services that run on Cloud Foundry," he said.

With the 1.6 Cloud Foundry release, Pivotal has also implemented additional security across the platform and added native support for .NET applications.

Pivotal Cloud Foundry is used internally at World Wide Technology, a global systems integrator that also delivers the technology to customers as part of a cloud solutions stack, said Jason Guibert, a principal consultant at the company.

While Spring Cloud Services tools aren't difficult to add to Spring-based applications, by including them in Cloud Foundry, Pivotal simplifies the process with a turnkey solution.

"It's the easy button," Guibert said. "You can buy everything from Pivotal and it just works and you don’t have to worry about configuring it."

For developers already investing in Pivotal Cloud Foundry, inclusion of Spring to the platform is another value-add, he said.

"They've figured this stuff out and we can use it," Guibert told CRN.