A survey of 383 IT professionals published April 18 suggests the open source Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment is gaining traction across the enterprise.
The survey conducted by the Cloud Foundry Foundation (CFF) finds one-third of companies now have at least 100 developers using Cloud Foundry. The number of companies with more than 50 developers using Cloud Foundry rose from 20 percent to 47 percent in the last year. More than half the respondents (53 percent) report they have been using Cloud Foundry for less than two years.
Companies with more than 50 applications on Cloud Foundry rose from 24 percent to 40 percent in just over six months and nearly a third (30 percent) of respondents describe their Cloud Foundry usage as broad.
More than a third of Cloud Foundry users report they now save a few months or more per application development cycle, and 10 percent report saving more than six months. In addition, nearly a quarter report saving $500,000 per application development cycle, with 17 percent saying they have saved more than $1 million.
The survey also finds there has been a sharp rise in interest in containers. A total of 13 percent of respondents already are using both the Cloud Foundry Application Runtime (CFAR) and the Cloud Foundry Container Runtime (CFCR), which is based on an instance of Kubernetes. Another 45 percent are evaluating CFCR.
CFF CTO Chip Childers said he expects the Cloud Foundry PaaS and Kubernetes to be employed side by side for years to come. The CFF will continue to develop technologies that unify the management of Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes before there is an inevitable convergence of the two platforms, he said, adding that for now, a PaaS and container-as-a-service (CaaS) environment are serving different classes of applications. In the case of Cloud Foundry, that historically has been complex 12-factor applications. But Childers noted that the types of applications being deployed on Cloud Foundry is also expanding.
Overall, Cloud Foundry reports more than 3,200 contributors participating in the community, with more than 60,000 commits in the last 12 months alone. According to Gartner, the total market value Cloud Foundry is approximately $3.1 billion.
As application development continues to evolve, it is clear many organizations are embracing multiple platforms. Different business units within organizations want to be able to develop applications in the cloud or on-premises as needed. Ninety percent of ten Cloud Foundry users surveyed cited cross-platform flexibility as important capability, with 67 percent calling it “very important.” One of the core value propositions of Cloud Foundry is that it provides a highly portable platform backed by a consortium that includes IBM, Pivotal, SAP, SUSE and, now, Alibaba.
In general, DevOps teams are embracing PaaS and CaaS environments to take advantage of higher levels of abstraction that don’t require them to manage the underlying IT infrastructure. The theory is that the more automated the environment becomes, the more resources there are to allocate to developing applications versus managing the platform.
The trade-off is that each PaaS and CaaS environment is usually highly opinionated in terms of how the application development process should be managed. Because of that issue, many organizations still prefer to build their own platforms from the ground up. But as PaaS and CaaS platforms continue to mature, it’s likely many more organizations may decide there isn’t enough differentiated value to be gained by building a platform themselves.