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The View of Cloud Foundry from the OpenStack Summit

Stephen_Spector

Guest Post: Omri Gazitt, VP Cloud Products and Services, HPE Helion

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As we wrap up the latest OpenStack® Summit in Austin, returning six years after the inaugural summit, it’s a good time to take stock of how far we’ve come and of what we’ve learned on the journey.

It’s beyond question that OpenStack can now support a broad range of workloads. As a community, we’ve evolved beyond the initial goal of being a “cattle platform”—we’re now seeing “pets,” analytics, and even low-latency/high-performance workloads such as network functions virtualization run on OpenStack. This breadth and diversity in workloads is a great proof point for the maturity of OpenStack as an infrastructure-as-a-service platform.

But for organizations that want to create and run cloud-native applications, there is a dilemma around whether to build them directly on top of the platform services that OpenStack provides, or utilize a cloud-native application platform/container management platform that is hosted on top of OpenStack.

Going back a few years, when OpenStack first started, the idea was to provide the same design pattern that startups were using on Amazon Web Services (AWS): a set of loosely coupled composable services such as ELB, CloudFormation, RDS, SQS, CloudWatch, AutoScaling, and CloudTrail that a developer could stitch together into a working system. So we created Heat, Neutron-LBaaS, Octavia, Trove, Zaqar, Cue, Monasca, and many others to provide the same design pattern.

That design pattern has worked for sophisticated technology companies like Netflix, which have in essence produced their own platforms on top of these services. But many enterprises find that creating their own custom platforms by composing these loosely coupled services requires a degree of sophisticated engineering investment that exceeds what they’d like to spend on what they consider “undifferentiated heavy lifting.”

But there is another way. Our experience has shown that when enterprises leverage a cloud-native development environment like Cloud Foundry on top of OpenStack, they are far more likely to succeed.

One might ask if container management platforms pose a fatal threat to OpenStack and Cloud Foundry. They do not. In fact, the containers-as-a-service (CaaS) approach to building cloud-native applications looks a lot like the AWS approach but use containers in place of services: CaaS demands that you piece together disparate features like monitoring, auto-scaling, and log aggregation using purpose-built containers. In a cloud-native development environment, these features are built-in.

During my time at the OpenStack Summit in Austin, it was clear from conversations I had with customers that enterprises with a range of use cases are wrestling with the best way to run and build cloud-native apps on OpenStack. Today, our best answer to that question is to use Cloud Foundry hosted on top of OpenStack (or any other infrastructure platform).

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HPE is a Platinum Sponsor of the Cloud Foundry Summit on May 23-25 in Santa Clara, California. I hope to see you there. Use the following code to receive a 20 percent discount: cfna16hpe20

Senior Manager, Cloud Online Marketing
  • HPE Cloud
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About the Author

Stephen_Spector

I manage the HPE Helion social media and website teams promoting the enterprise cloud solutions at HPE for hybrid, public, and private clouds. I was previously at Dell promoting their Cloud solutions and was the open source community manager for OpenStack and Xen.org at Rackspace and Citrix Systems. While at Citrix Systems, I founded the Citrix Developer Network, developed global alliance and licensing programs, and even once added audio to the DOS ICA client with assembler. Follow me at @SpectorID

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