I’ve been following Cloud Foundry, the platform as a service offering since it first came to light as a small project within VMware. Since then, Cloud Foundry has flourished – it’s achieved large-vendor buy in (IBM, HPE, and SAP have all been, or are, involved), good customer momentum and a large number of ever-excited contributors. It’s also gained its own foundation and true open source credibility with an Apache 2.0 license and the Cloud Foundry Foundation being the number one cattle-herder for the initiative.

Compared to the other PaaS offerings, Cloud Foundry seems to have done well. Heroku is maximizing the impact that its Salesforce ownership brings and would appear to be top of the table on the (admittedly flawed) Google Trends measure. But it is interesting to compare interest in Cloud Foundry with that of other PaaS offerings, Red Hat’s OpenShift and Engineyard (remember them?).


In terms of empirical numbers – Cloud Foundry boasts of 2,400 contributors, 51,000 commits, 70,000 people and 64 total members.

So I’m looking forward to attending the Cloud Foundry Summit this week – the first time I’ll be doing so. Despite writing about Cloud Foundry as much as anyone else in the industry, this is the first time I’ll be physically attending the event. And the timing is good – PaaS is at something of a watershed moment, as I discussed with Cloud Foundry Foundation head honcho Abby Kearns recently. Kearns was blunt and brutal in her assessment, telling me that:

PaaS, as a name, as a concept and as a solution is dead.

Kearns response was a pragmatic reaction to the rise and rise of Kubernetes as a management offering, and the increasing attention to containers generally. All of a sudden a monolithic (and, yes, I use that term reservedly) management layer such as Cloud Foundry becomes less exciting.

Which is why Kearns’ theme is all about platforms, and not about service – the ability for organizations to leverage Cloud Foundry to deliver agility for their development teams. So I’m looking forward to talking to both vendors and customers at the show – Pivotal, with its PCF Cloud Foundry product, is obviously king of the roost, but I’m also looking forward to hearing about the progress that IBM, SAP, and SUSE are seeing with their distros.

And as for customers, Cloud Foundry users Comcast, HCSC, Humana, and Royal Bank of Canada will no doubt discuss multi-cloud solutions and developer creativity using Cloud Foundry.

So it’s going to be an interesting show. If you’re there, come and say howdy and have a chat about all things PaaS, containers and developer agility.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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