Survey Sees Cloud Foundry Momentum Gains

At a time when many organizations are wondering to what degree they should rely on legacy application development and deployment platform versus emerging container-based platforms, the Cloud Foundry Foundation (CFF) today released the results of a survey that shows reliance on the organization’s namesake open source platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment continues to grow.

Announced at the European Cloud Foundry Summit, the annual survey of 306 IT professionals finds 45% of respondents describe their use of the PaaS as “broad,” compared to 30% a year ago. The same survey finds nearly 20% started using Cloud Foundry in just the last 12 months and 39% of developers are deploying applications now in less than one day. More than three-quarters (77%) report application development cycles of fewer than three weeks.

Nearly half of survey respondents report they have at least 100 developers using the PaaS, a significant jump from just one-third last year, and the share of companies with more than 50 applications on Cloud Foundry grew to 43% in 2019.
The future of the PaaS has been called into question ever since the rise of Docker containers and Kubernetes. The CFF has been slow to adopt Kubernetes as a more efficient foundation for deploying a PaaS environment. Most recently, the CFF has provided organizations that adopt the PaaS the option of replacing the Diego container orchestration engine developed by the CFF with Kubernetes. At the same time, the CFF is working toward replacing much of the foundation layer for Cloud Foundry with Kubernetes to provide a more efficient means of standing up a Cloud Foundry environment.

The CFF has also made it possible to deploy applications built on Cloud Foundry on a Kubernetes runtime. CFF CTO Chip Childers says that no one should be surprised when the rise of Kubernetes leads to more adoption of Cloud Foundry. Most of the application development environment available for Kubernetes today are not as robust as the Cloud Foundry PaaS, with the notable exception of the Red Hat OpenShift PaaS. Following the acquisition of Red Hat, IBM is now promoting Red Hat OpenShift as the cornerstone of a hybrid cloud strategy that has Kubernetes at its core. Meanwhile, last month Pivotal Software, provider of a curated instance of a Cloud Foundry PaaS, told financial analysts it expected to see a $40 million to $50 million decline in revenue in fiscal 2020. Shortly after, VMware moved to acquire Pivotal, which, like VMware, is a unit of Dell Technologies.

An update to a previous report published today by source{d} shows there are now 879 repositories in the Cloud Foundry GitHub organization, with the total number of commits reaching approximately 50,000 per month. The report finds the highest levels of activity are centered around the Stratos UI project, Istio integrations and the core Cloud Foundry Application Runtime Cloud Controller.

The CFF and Kubernetes, under the auspices the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), fall under two separate arms of The Linux Foundation. It’s unclear if the Linux Foundation might one day merge these two arms or continue to keep them separate as a means of navigating conflicting vendor strategies. Whatever the outcome, Cloud Foundry is likely to remain a vibrant part of the open source community for many years to come.

Mike Vizard @mvizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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