What is The business value of Cloud Foundry and its future.

What is The business value of Cloud Foundry and its future.

Cloud-native platforms have set the most common for building and deploying software; They have made enterprises that wasn’t in existence about twelve years ago to succeed in highly competitive markets; Cloud Foundry (CF), the open source cloud application platform, has been a running force in that success, making it possible for enterprises to build, test, deploy and scale software significantly faster, The perpetual challenge of ensuring cloud-native technologies are used efficiently and securely is an ongoing battle, and organizations will always keep an eye on rapid profitability, This has seen the emergence of Kubernetes as a way to quickly deploy and manage containerized apps in software development and production and raised questions regarding the CF’s future,

The questions have become more urgent since VMware closed Pivotal Web Services (PWS), its fully-managed CF, in January 2021: Was this an indication that Kubernetes had “won”? Did this mean the “end” of CF? While PWS customers hurried to find a replacement, customers running their own CF installations were left uncertain.So is CF going to disappear? Not exactly because at its core, Cloud Foundry is an agreement between platform and developer, and this experience is still in high demand. CF offers to package, schedule, and run a developer’s applications if they abide by the 12-factor app methodology. This methodology covers everything from the codebase and dependencies to logs and admin processes. It ensures that the application layer on top of the platform can scale and thrive in a cloud environment. At the very least, it offers a unified application architecture that works the same across multiple programming languages

This agreement sees cloud-native applications run predictably and reliably with a standardized approach. Other benefits of the 12-factor approach are written in some of the rules:The attributes these rules create are what make Kubernetes so popular, such as concurrency, disposability, and modularity, but this isn’t surprising as Kubernetes is also a cloud-native platform and is guided by the same rules as CF:

CF’s future is in changing and seeking to take advantage of Kubernetes. As RedMonk analyst Stephen O’Grady commented last year, the future for Cloud Foundry is how it “can provide abstractions above and around Kubernetes to improve the overall developer and operator experience;

Recognizing that CF is more a contract than a singular platform, there are several systems that exist today in various development stages that follow CF’s platform-developer agreement. The first is “traditional” CF, the VM-based Cloud Foundry. This is deployed on VMs by BOSH, a virtual machine orchestrator for deploying, scaling, and maintaining apps on top of VMs from many different cloud providers.Next is KubeCF, which containerizes BOSH releases for Kubernetes. This official Cloud Foundry Foundation project enables the consumption of the same BOSH releases that other CF teams use while supplying the most stable and faithful CF implementation for the popular container orchestrator;

There is another official CF project focused on Kubernetes called cf-for-k8s. This project takes a Kubernetes-native approach involving a massive change to both implementation and architecture. This project is at an earlier beta stage and looking to ship Open Container Images instead of BOSH releases. Additionally, as Kubernetes has a container runtime, CF’s Diego was removed, and gorouter has been replaced with Istio and Envoy:

As a consequence of the changes the cf-for-k8s project has made to CF components, the code the CF project team has to maintain has been greatly reduced. We also expect that, as the artifacts that KubeCF relies on stop being released, KubeCF will gradually adopt the production-viable components of cf-for k8s over time;

The final option, developed by Google, is more of an outlier, although it has the potential to be disruptive. It’s called kf and is a client-side reimplementation of the cf tool for Kubernetes (see what they did there?). Google is treating this as a migration tool, enabling a user to go from deploying source code to a CF straight to a GCP Kubernetes cluster on top of GKE, but it already supports many of the most commonly used commands and flags. It is a proprietary approach focused on Google products. Still, the idea of deploying and managing applications on a Kubernetes cluster with a simple shell alias is likely to have an appeal beyond Google.As more innovation occurs where the benefits of both CF and Kubernetes are leveraged, we remain highly hopeful that CF on Kubernetes will mean that mid-market companies, and not just large enterprises, will benefit from the business advantages and experience that CF offers

While it’s apparent that CF is unlikely to disappear, it’s essential to understand its continued business value as well

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