This Week in Cloud Foundry

all the news from around the community

This Week in Cloud Foundry 1st September 2014

After a summer hiatus I'm kicking off September with a jam packed TWICF. The CF ecosystem is evolving at speed with innovation at every junction. There's a lot of content (primarily blog related) to get through so I'll dive right in:

As cited previously the Cloud Foundry team are rewriting the DEA in Go (codenamed “Diego”). I get asked about this all the time. In addition to the youtube post from Onsi Fakhouri, Cloud Foundry engineer Amit Gupta shares the details of how the DEA / Cell optimises scaling applications across available cloud resources. In this technical post he reviews the new auction system, and breaks down the math and logic needed to support Diego.

I've been working with BOSH recently and I came across this old but nonetheless gem of a post from Matt Stine explaining the value of CPIs as a way of using BOSH for Cloud API compatibility. More recently Matt also posted about the new Platform Wind Tunnel. I'm keen to see how this codebase develops as it looks to be an important tool for stress testing cloud application platforms. For those new to BOSH my co-worker Jamie has written a deep dive into understanding the relationship between PivotalCF and BOSH. Even if you are on the OSS CF version it's worth a read.

Continuing on BOSH, Karl Isenberg has written about BOSH Release Versioning. This is important to understand. To quote "Without compliance to some sort of formal specification, version numbers are essentially useless for dependency management. By giving a name and clear definition… it becomes easy to communicate your intentions to the users of your software". Check out the new Semi-semantic version parser.

This post from James Watters has been around for a while now but it's an important read for better understanding the differences between container based PaaS options. Filip Hanik has written about his work on the UAA. Feel free to reach out to him on your crazy (or not) ideas.

In terms of community related news Active State have written up last month's Cloud Foundry Community Advisory Board meeting. Like many in the CF community the folks at Active State are always busy. Phil Whelan has written a compelling post on DevOps. I agree with his comment "Only when Operations engineers care deeply about their Developers needs, and can work closely with them, do we have a chance of reaching DevOps utopia via the Operations path". Like Phil I believe CF offers a way of helping operations move from serving developers whilst being a bottleneck to enabling them to both develop apps and bind them to services at speed.

Dr Nic has been busy with his blog on hosting static sites on cloud foundry.

Docker is at the forefront of many discussions I have. As discussed in the past the CF Engineering team are working closely with the Docker community. In addition Ferran Rodenas has written a blog about his new Docker Service Broker for Cloud Foundry. Services within CF are key and mobile continues to be a hot topic so I'm pleased to see the new mobile services added to Pivotal CF. Finally on the blog front Adam Zwickey wrote an interesting blog on How to Deploy Drupal to CF.

There are lots of CF events coming up soon. Most notable is the Pivotal Cloud Platform RoadShow in the US and Europe. If you can't make them then find (or start) a CF meetup near you. That's all I've got time for this week but please do ping me any content for next week via @duncwinn.

This Week in Cloud Foundry July 4th

Time for this week's CF roundup. Lots to discss so I'll dive right in.

Recently my friend and co-worker Glyn Normington has written some excellent blogs on Containers in CF and Scoping the libcontainer API. With the wide spread interest in both Docker containers and Docker files (see link) for pushing apps, the work Glyn and Steve Powell are pursuing in this space in collaboration with the Docker community is great to see.

The recent CF Summit was a great way of finding out what's going on in the wider CF community. It's good to see blogs and you tube videos from the event. I provided a brief overview of the event in my last post and there have been some other great overviews namely this one from Pivotal, and anynines and this set of blogs from Altoros.

With respect to the replays amongst the others in this list I'd highly recommend watching: James Watters Everything Changes, James Bayer talking on the Cloud Foundry Roadmap, Onsi Fakhouri talking on Diego and Ben Hale's Java Applications in the Cloud.

There is an interesting blog from CoreLogic explaining how they are building a platform on Cloud Foundry for data-driven apps and services. The blog details how the company is moving beyond a complex legacy infrastructure in favour of one that enables agile development of new products that share a common component system.

Monsanto have also produced a case study showing a 50% App Dev lifecycle improvement with Cloud Foundry.

And continuing on from my last post there was a lot of coverage of the benefits of running microservices on CF and SAP posted a good blog here.

I'm seeing more and more CF meetups happening. Locally in London I've been working with a number of folks across the CF community including IBM, Centry Link and Cloud Credo to host a Cloud Foundry meetup. I'm pleased to announce that James Watters the Global Head of PivotalCF and Tammer Saleh, Director of Pivotal CF Services will both be talking at this event. For those local enough please do come and join us by signing up here: LCFUG.

Talking of community lead events ActiveState gave their usual write up of the recent Community Advisory Board Meeting.

On the technical front it's been a while since I've discussed code (apologies)! For those who've not seen Matt Stine's AutoScaler Demo it's a good little first app to push to CF. There are lots of good apps in that repo to play around with. On the topic of "trying out CF" check out Stark and Wayne's TryCF.

As a small side note, for some algorithmic fun check out Amit's blog on k-NN algorithms in Go vs Haskell.

Unfortunately that's all I've got time for this week but please do ping me any content for next week via @duncwinn.

This Week in Cloud Foundry June 12th

Wow… end of the CF Summit 2014 and a truly unprecedented week for Cloud Foundry. If you ever play "buzzword bingo" then for this event you needed Docker, Diego, Go, Micro-Services, oh and "we're hiring". Seriously though, I’d need to write a book not a post to cover all the content - which was seriously good. Here are the major highlights that grabbed my attention.

Paul Martiz and James Watters kicked off with and overview of the CF ecosystem and where it’s all heading. Some stats for you: the CF Foundation is now at 34 members with new joiners all the time. This will result in more contributions, communication and collaboration as engineering and expertise are increasingly committed back in the community. As an example lots of companies (e.g. Cisco and Monsanto) showed some exciting extensions to their use of CF, including new UI's a monitoring and management solution via a Splunk log drain.

James Bayer's presentation on the CF roadmap included a host or really cool features including Application Security Groups, Placement Pools and Availability Zones, more Buildpacks, DockerFile support and a Persistence File Service. I'm eagerly awaiting the replay but for now you can see all roadmap items linked off the under the Roadmap and Tracker section. As a brief summary the overall roadmap vision broadly breaks down into three sections:

  1. Simple Developer Friendly Commands and API's including autodetect frameworks, extending the "push and it works" to Docker Files and .Net, simple service bindings and support for agile micro-services.

  2. Operational Benefits for Applications including Instant Dynamic Routing, Log Streams & Aggregation, Metrics and Telemetry, Access Controls & Policy and the 4 Layers of High Availability (Ai-Az-Pm-Vm): App-Instances, Availability Zones, Process and Virtual Machine monitoring.

  3. Built-in and Ecosystem Services including RDBMS (MySQL/Maria HA), Blob (RiakCS), Notifications, User-Provided Services, and a Services Ecosystem (Pivotal, Bluemix,, OSS) all delivered via an extensible service broker architecture.

On the Service Broker topic, Tammer Saleh and Chris Brown gave a cracking pitch on all the new services coming in PivotalCF including ElasticSearch, Cassandra and Redis - the AK47 for Databases. I've been working with Redis recently since the Java Buildpack included Redis-based Session Replication. Redis is blazingly fast so it's great to see: RedisLabs is now available in Pivotal Web Services Marketplace. AppDirect also talked on services; bringing SaaS add-on services to Cloud Foundry. They provide a rich set of services and if you're after a quick start, their SaaS services can help.

Onsi Fakhouri gave an outstanding presentation on Diego, the rewrite of the DEA in Go. His talk literally received a standing ovation. Diego is a ground-up rewrite of the DEA - a major component of the Cloud Foundry Elastic Runtime. His talk unpacked the motivation behind the rewrite, the philosophy behind Diego, and presented a few choice technical details to illustrate some of the more interesting ideas the team have been playing with. All I can say is if you see nothing else from the replays, from an architectural perspective watch that one!

OSv gave a stellar talk on an OS for cloud based architectures. What grabbed my attention was that OSv is not a Linux fork but it's been designed from the ground up to execute a single application on top of a hypervisor, resulting (at least from the prezi) in superior performance with a really nice architectural design allowing for things like JVM ballooning. Like many of the technologies surrounding the wider CF ecosystem it's one to watch.

Both Ben Hale and Matt Stine gave very well constructed deep dives on how best to write apps for a Cloud Environment including the rational behind 12factor apps and Micro Services.

Killian Murphy introduced the work he's been doing at VMWare with the CPI support for VMWare's Hybrid Cloud Service. That coupled with VMWare's NSX (Network Virtualization) is providing some great enterprise options around both public / private deployments and deploying CF to isolated and secure networks.

Some of the CF deployment patterns were great to see. Check out the post from Cloud Credo. It's a little old but I still think Colin Humphreys holds the record for the largest CF deployment to-date. Whilst discussing Cloud Credo I'd like to highlight Colin's talk on Decker. They've got some innovative ideas around this space, although I'd recommend working on how well it searches; I don't want anymore drills. Shame I did not get to catch Dr Nic but I did have the pleasure of meeting the new Wayne now working at Stark and Wayne. Like CloudCredo in Europe, Stark and Wayne are doing some great work in the CF community. Hit an issue and tap up vcap-dev where you'll find Dr Nic hammering the feed.

ActiveState were very “active” throughout the event. They post great content and I'm hoping their talk will be posted here. Daniel Berg from IBM gave an interesting talk on BlueMix and Angel Diaz talked on fostering the community with CF being the open “platform for the people”. I also caught up with anynines - great to start putting faces to all the good work they've been doing with CF.

SAP gave a compelling talk on the future of enterprise PaaS. IronFoundry gave an update on their incubator project to support .NET on CF. Intel gave a pitch on CF hackathons; I'm sure there will be a CF hackathon coming to a city near you soon. If not then reach out to me and I'll help you set one up.

W.R.T BOSH, Cisco's Matt Johnson and Troy Astle gave a legendary talk on "A year with CF and BOSH". Or rather… "Automating yourself out of a job (don’t worry, EVERYONE in CF is hiring)". The reason why this resonated so much with the audience is that Cisco walked us through a journey most of the audience were someway along.

That's about all I have time for. I've got a long-haul flight to catch back to London. I've missed a ton of excellent content from many very talented people across the globe. If you’re reading this and I've not covered your work then I apologise and as ever, ping me for next week via @duncwinn.