Cloud Foundry, Cloud Native, and Entering a Multi-Platform World with Abby Kearns

Cloud Foundry

Multi-platform means enterprises would want a variety of platforms for a variety of application workloads, says Cloud Foundry’s Abby Kearns.

2018 has been an amazing year for Cloud Foundry, with Alibaba joining as a Gold member, and Pivotal going public with its IPO, among some of the highlights. I recently talked with Abby Kearns, Executive Director of Cloud Foundry Foundation, to reflect on these milestones and more.

Kearns has been part of the Cloud Foundry ecosystem for the past five years and, under her leadership, Cloud Foundry has grown and evolved and found its way into half of the Fortune 500 companies, with those numbers increasing daily.

All of the major public cloud vendors want to be part of the ecosystem. “This year, we saw Alibaba join as a Gold member, and Cloud Foundry is now natively available on Alibaba Cloud,” said Kearns.

In 2017, Cloud Foundry embraced Kubernetes, the hottest open source project, and created CFCR (Cloud Foundry Container Runtime). “Kubernetes is a great technology that brings tons of capabilities to containers, which are the fundamental building blocks for a lot of portability for cloud native apps,” Kearns said.

“CFCR, which is Kubernetes on BOSH, allows enterprises to start running containerized workloads alongside Cloud Foundry deployments. … They now have a single plane of operations, which allows them to have a variety of applications,” she explained.

However, Kearns sees that the market is evolving beyond just multi-cloud. “We are entering into a multi-platform world where enterprises are going to be running a variety of technologies and solutions to address the variety of workload needs with their applications,” said Kearns.

When asked what she meant by multi-platform in the context of cloud, Kearns explained, “Multi-platform means that enterprises would want a variety of platforms for a variety of application workloads. There’s never going to be one technology that solves everything. It’s not going to be Cloud Foundry or Kubernetes; it’s going to be a mix. At the end of the day, enterprises are broad and complex. They have evolving needs. They want a mix of technologies that complement each other.”

However, multi-platform brings its own set of challenges. “Technology is the easy part, my big worry is people getting caught up in the hype of something new and then they want to have it. Then they want to have the next shiny thing,” she said.

When you get caught up in that hype cycle, you lose focus on what you need to do. Enterprises need to be aware of this and must ask themselves what do their business need to do? What are the outcomes they expect? How do they leverage technology to achieve that?

“I think taking a step back and asking ourselves what are we really trying to solve,” she said. “I think just for me, sometimes it is — take a breath, pause and think, okay, where, where are we going and why?”

Hear more from Abby Kearns in the video below:

Swapnil Bhartiya

Swapnil Bhartiya

Swapnil Bhartiya is a journalist and writer who has been covering Linux and Open Source for more than 10 years.
Swapnil Bhartiya