Cloud Foundry Offers Powerful, Untapped Opportunity to Take Open Source to Enterprises

header-graphic-cloudfoundry-savvis-appfogHybrid cloud is a hot topic. However, there is a growing divide between what the term means to IT vendors and the enterprise IT community.

To a vendor, hybrid cloud means more of one vendor—more of my public cloud or more of my private cloud. But this is not the problem enterprise IT faces today. Today, enterprises have to deal with 5-10 data centers. Some even deal with 50-100 data centers. Across those data centers are different vendors, different technologies and different applications. It is a truly heterogeneous hybrid environment, but most software vendors want to sell homogeneous hybrid solutions. The Cloud Foundry open platform from Pivotal can help in heterogeneous hybrid environments in a unique and powerful way.

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For the full press release on today’s announcement see here.

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My personal background includes 20 years as a programmer and the recent founding of AppFog, a Platform-as-a-Service provider that leverages Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry platform. I have spoken with many Fortune 500 banks, IT departments at brand name companies, and with many of the 100,000 developers coming from small and medium businesses around the world who have signed up for AppFog in the last three years.

As developers, we want our applications and platforms to be used by as many users as possible. And we want to make our applications better, through collaborative innovation working with the community. Cloud Foundry and PaaS are set to deliver on this promise, and enterprise IT is listening. The more we tell our bosses about the benefits of Cloud Foundry, the faster PaaS will be adopted within modern enterprise IT standards.

AppFog has been an active participant in the Cloud Foundry ecosystem since its inception. When we were acquired by CenturyLink and added to the Savvis cloud portfolio in June, we were given a bigger stage from which to expound on the benefits of open source technologies. And now, through our just-announced role on the Cloud Foundry advisory board, we have an exciting opportunity to promote the adoption of open-source standards to a much wider developer base.

Enterprises must adapt. Open source PaaS is just ahead of the curve, awaiting enterprise adoption. The open source PaaS opportunity is not just limited to individual developers, but we believe there’s a large, untapped opportunity to take it to the enterprise. I have heard directly from large Savvis and CenturyLink customers that there is significant interest in private PaaS solutions that could be met through Cloud Foundry.

Enterprises love and need standards. And I truly believe that Cloud Foundry is the standard for open-source PaaS solutions.

Cloud Foundry and AppFog plan to actively engage via the Cloud Foundry Dojo program, a unique learning experience that brings Savvis’ AppFog developers shoulder-to-shoulder with Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry engineering team to master the core technology and contribute directly to the codebase, and innovate faster.

Enterprises, as well as the broader open source community, should anticipate major advances as a result of the Cloud Foundry Dojo program. From what we have seen, the Cloud Foundry Dojo program will significantly spur enterprise adoption. We’re thrilled to be a part of it.

Most PaaS offerings restrict developer choices of frameworks, application infrastructure services and deployment clouds. The open and extensible nature of Cloud Foundry means developers are not locked into a single framework, single set of application services or single cloud. We have seen this firsthand with AppFog.

I believe that in the cloud era, the fundamental tenets of friction-free development are interconnected with flexibility and community participation. Through collaboration, we have the power to build solutions that meet the needs of developers, whether they are employed by an enterprise or are working on their own, building the next great technological breakthroughs.

Lucas_Carlson_Headshot About the Author: 

Lucas Carlson is Vice President, Cloud Evangelism, at Savvis, a CenturyLink company. He founded AppFog, a PaaS company that leverages Cloud Foundry and was acquired by CenturyLink in June 2013. Lucas has been a professional developer and specializes in Ruby on Rails. Lucas has authored “Programming for PaaS” and the “Ruby Cookbook” and has written half a dozen libraries in various programming languages and contributed to many others, including Rails and RedCloth. He maintains a personal website at www.rufy.com.

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