This Week in Cloud Foundry

all the news from around the community

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 CloutFoundry.org 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, Logsearch.io, 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.

This Week in Cloud Foundry - May 1st

Due to Easter and other things it's been a couple of weeks since my last post. That's not to say the community has been quiet too.

  1. Adam Bloom posted a case study from Ippon Hosting CTO Ghislain Seguy quoting “What used to takes 2 weeks now takes 2 minutes on PaaS". Talking of case studies, he also wrote about Fjord IT's use of CF as part of their green data centre initiative. You can read more about it here.

  2. That provides a good segue into Nima Badiey's post describing how Cloud Foundry provides a excellent platform for ISVs, solution providers and application services to integrate with.

  3. Jamie Paton announced that Active State have open sourced a Cloud Foundry Service Broker implementation in Node.js. It's well worth a look if you are considering building out data services in Node.js. His post also includes a brief overview of the difference between CFv1 and CFv2 Services.

  4. Troy Topnik wrote a decent blog on the ability of PaaS to leapfrog over just IaaS. This topic is close to my heart. The number of business I've met who hold off from adopting PaaS in order to just get their ability to provision VM's sorted is staggering. By adopting CF they can leapfrog that pain (along with a host of other challenges such as getting the OS and middleware sorted) allowing the CPI within CF to take care of the VM layer for them. In addition Troy wrote a great post on the value of User Provided Services a.k.a UPS.

  5. Phil Whelan wrote a great post on Buildpacks. It's a must read for anyone looking for a deeper understanding of runtimes on CF. Phil also wrote a post on how PaaS and CF helps to deal with the challenges of poor resource utilization. ""PaaS brings more visibility to your IT infrastructure. It exposes resources at the application level. It spreads resources evenly across your cluster in a way that enables you to scale up and down with ease and utilizes all your hardware efficiently".

  6. Tangential to CF, I came across this good article on Containerless Web Apps, which mentiones tomcat as a great replacement for some of the heavier weight full blown Application Servers of yesteryear. Also in the mix is Spring Boot. Spring Boot makes it easy to create stand-alone, production-grade Spring based Applications that you can “just run”. It takes an opinionated view of the Spring platform and third-party libraries so you can get started with minimum fuss. Most Spring Boot applications need very little Spring configuration. Spring Boot applications also run very well on CF.

  7. An additional point, for those looking for the traditional WebLogic support within a PaaS environment, if you are mindful of the caveats then check out the new WebLogic buildpack.

  8. Talking of buildpacks Redis Session Replication is now in the Java buildpack. In addition the golang buildpack is now merged into CF core as the as the 4th built-in buildpack along with Java, ruby, and nodejs.

  9. Whilst we are on the technical stuff here is a good post on the development of Diego.

  10. Manifests are awesome for the enterprise - think source control, repeatability and all that good stuff. Ryan Baxter from IBM created a manifest generator for CF. Check it out here.

  11. Matt Stine released a great Build Your Own CF walk through deck.

  12. Dr Nic spoke about the immutability of BOSH. For anyone new to CF and BOSH you should check out Dr Nic’s page at starkandwayne.com as there are some very good talks linked from there.

  13. Anynines wrote a nice and simple post on getting started with RabbitMQ and CF for all your application messaging needs.

  14. Finally but absolutely not the least, check out James Watters’ talk to apachecon on building collaborative open source communities and cloudfoundry.

I feel I've only scratched the surface on the CF news over the last couple of weeks but that's all I've got time for right now. As usual, before I sign off I would just like to remind you to sign up for the up and coming CF Summit 2014. If there’s anything you would like me to cover next week you can reach me via @duncwinn. I'm in S.F. next week learning more about BOSH and CF deployments on OpenStack; I'll keep you posted.