Cloud Foundry CTO: 8 Reasons Why Solution Providers Need To Take A Closer Look At The Technology

Cloud Foundry In 2018

Cloud Foundry is now used by more than half of the Fortune 500 companies and becoming more pervasive in the enterprise. The open-source, multi-cloud application Platform as a Service is backed by companies such as Dell EMC, Pivotal, Google, IBM, Microsoft, SAP and SUSE, many of which offer their own Cloud Foundry platform available to channel partners.

Nobody knows the technology better than Chip Childers, chief technology officer at the Cloud Foundry Foundation, which governs Cloud Foundry.

"Whether you're talking about the Dell Technologies family of companies, or SAP or IBM -- each one of them has a partner program and in each one of those partner programs Cloud Foundry is playing a more prominent role," Childers said. Here are eight reasons why Childers said solution providers need to take a closer look at Cloud Foundry.

Market Traction

We're seeing a large number of organizations begin to use Cloud Foundry. A good chunk have been using Cloud Foundry for less than two years. This is good. It means we're getting new organizations coming into the technology and starting to use the platform. We're now used by more than half of the Fortune 500 companies. The second thing we're seeing is that it's deepening within larger organizations who have already adopted. So when you look at the number of developers that these organizations have that are actively developing software that they deployed with Cloud Foundry, when you look at the total number of applications, it's growing significantly. A large percent are large enterprises, but there are a lot of SMBs and small companies using it.

Readily Available To The Channel

We sit at the upstream to a number of commercial distributions by different companies. The consumers have the choice of Pivotal Cloud Foundry, SUSE Cloud Application Platform, they can also use the open source software directly, but the other part of our commercial market revolves around the managed service experience -- that includes everything from folks like IBM, SAP, regional providers and also large telecom providers like NTT. There's a very wide range of ways that you can get access to the Cloud Foundry platform that's just not about the software itself.

Whether you're talking about the Dell Technologies family of companies, or SAP or IBM -- each one of them has a partner program and in each one of those partner programs Cloud Foundry is playing a more prominent role. SAP Cloud Platform, for example, is the way SAP applications are going to be built now and into the future. They have a very rich ecosystem of partners and system integrators. That whole channel is going through the process of educating themselves on SAP Cloud Platform, which is a Cloud Foundry-based service.

Certified Platform Program

One of the most important things that we've done collectively is create the Cloud Foundry Certified Platform program. It's valuable because it established a common baseline for what a certified distribution of Cloud Foundry should be, and what that enables is skill portability. So when you're thinking about it as a channel partner, you're thinking about what's the addressable market? What does the scale of the opportunity look like if I were to train some engineers? The scale of the opportunity is the aggregate of the customers that Dell Technologies' works with, that IBM works with -- that's very important. You need to think about the total number of end customers that are starting to use this.

Improving Interoperability

What's most important right now for our technical community as well as our end-user community is a continued and deepening focus on our cross-platform interoperability and integration into enterprise environments. For example, we have a component of our architecture that's called BOSH that allows us to be multi-cloud. You can take these application platforms as well as other software you want to deploy into Amazon or [Microsoft] Azure or Google Cloud -- it has an abstraction across all the public cloud providers as well as local data center infrastructure options like vShpere or OpenStack. We're continuing to see the number of cloud providers that have native integration at that level grow. So we're deepening our infrastructure options.


Our end users want, not just what's traditionally known as the Cloud Foundry experience, which is a Platform-as-a-Service experience, they also want to have that work really well with Kubernetes. And they want Kuberenetes to be managed at the same level of effectiveness as the Cloud Foundry Application Runtime. So as an ecosystem, we're putting a lot of effort into making a well-integrated developer experience between Kubernetes and the Cloud Foundry Application Runtime. That dovetails on the work that's been going on for the last year to bring the level of operational maturity that we have to Kubernetes through a project we call the Cloud Foundry Container Runtime. So platform integrations with Kubernetes so you can have the PaaS experience and the Container-as-a-Service experience side by side -- make those two work really well for both developers and operators. …. There's a demand for Cloud Foundry technology in many places.

The Foundry Marketplace

Last year we launched a section of our site called The Foundry. It was a marketplace that connects the user with a customer with the full breadth of the ecosystem of services or system integrator partners, of training partners, of infrastructure providers, etc.. At launch we have about 700 different ecosystem participants. At this point in time, we are at 5,000 and that's continuing to grow dramatically as Cloud Foundry technologies continue to make their way further and further out into the market.

Vendor Choice

Open-source development has really become a way to share R&D expense and risk. Today we can look at the open-source ecosystem and these large projects like Cloud Foundry as very successful collaborative efforts among competitors that are able to find ways to differentiate between each other, but the end users get the value of knowing they actually have vendor choice now for a common experience that derives from the same source code.

Cloud Foundry Enablement

You absolutely need to have your technical teams understand the Cloud Foundry technology stack -- whether they're developers who write custom apps or whether they're operators that help deploy and install and manage software -- that's very important. We've got a number of different training options that are out there and training partners in the market offering in-person and e-learning training. That's something that I highly recommend any channel partner go do.