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Cloud Native Ecosystem / Cloud Services

How Cloud Foundry Has Cast Its Net Wide

Apr 29th, 2019 3:00pm by
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The Cloud Foundry Foundation sponsored this podcast.

How Cloud Foundry Has Cast its Net Wide

Dieu Cao, director of product management at Pivotal Software, and the chair for the Cloud Foundry project management committee (PMC), says she was “at the right place at the right time” when her involvement with Cloud Foundry began.

She had been directly involved with Pivotal before it became a company when Greenplum had contracted with Pivotal Labs. “I like to say that project went so well, that we decided to buy Pivotal Labs,” Cao said.

After Pivotal became a separate company in 2013, Cao went on maternity leave in 2014. When she returned, Cao said her projects had changed. “I was looking for something to do,” Cao said. “Cloud Foundry was one of the projects that came into the Pivotal initiative. I’ve also been very product-oriented and I was in the right place at the right time.

Initially, she became the project manager for the runtime team — which has now exploded from one to about 20 teams. After serving as the Runtime PMC Lead in the Cloud Foundry, she recently became the Cloud Foundry PMC chair.

The Cloud Foundry Foundation has certainly changed during the past five years. Its evolution and exciting developments were the topic of a podcast hosted by The New Stack’s Joab Jackson, managing editor, at Cloud Foundry Summit North America last week in Philadelphia.

“In the early days,” Cao described how the Cloud Foundry Foundation work was largely about “stability and making it scale and more useful for enterprises and the larger community but over time, organizations have become confident about scaling with Cloud Foundry. More recently, there has been more interest in additional application types to support on the platform, Cao said. “We’ve been involved in supporting more applications, but over time, we have been able to invest a lot more,” Cao said.

Cao said she was “really excited,” for example, about Istio and Envoy projects being incorporated into the Cloud Foundry platform, as well as the possibilities for weighted routing. “There is some really cool stuff we will really be able to iterate on as we support more sophisticated deployments and patterns,” Cao said.

Another recent hallmark is Cloud Foundry’s ability to help organizations scale microservices, following its continued massive growth in adoption and subsequent related tools and technologies that have helped foster microservices and Kubernetes use and adoption. But while noting the availability of such options as Netflix OSS  and its Hystrix and Eureka, “that whole library of all of those things basically required you to be in the Java ecosystem,” Cao said, “And there are a lot more workloads in the world that need to be able to connect together and learn about each other.”

“So, with these new service mesh technologies, the idea is that maybe you can bring this into the platform and make it so that applications of different languages can take advantage of these microservices cloud native patterns, with whatever language you have, without having to pool in a library and teach your app how to use it,” Cao said. “I think that has been very exciting as the technology has evolved so that application teams can do less of that and rely on the platforms to do it more as the technology evolves.”

One of the prevalent themes in Cloud Foundry’s narrative is that it “tends to curate technologies for the larger experience,” Cao said. “So, we get excited about new technologies, but they might have warts or poor scaling or security implications. We look at those and say ‘okay, how can we get to the scale so people can generally use it,’” Cao said, “We will continue to swap things out over time as technologies mature.”

“Potentially, I think swapping out the Diego scheduler once we can prove that we could responsibly and at scale do this with Kubernetes, that seems reasonable to me. That is not an unknown thing,” Cao said.

In this Edition:

2:40: How has the Cloud Foundry project evolved over the years, and how is it evolving with these latest announcements?
5:18: Incorporating more collaboration and use cases on top of the Cloud Foundry platform
7:06: What’s the promise of bringing in Istio and Envoy?
11:20: Now that you’re working so closely with other communities such as Kubernetes and Istio, does that change the makeup of the contributors? Does it relieve the pressure to develop everything within Cloud Foundry?
14:10: Can you explain what Eirini is and why it’s important?
16:33: What else is happening at the show that we should take a look at?

Pivotal is a sponsor of The New Stack.

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