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AppFog owners join Cloud Foundry party

Elliot Bentley
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CenturyLink-owned Saavis follow IBM to newly-formed advisory board for Pivotal’s PaaS, with more on the way.

Two weeks after it was announced that IBM would join a newly-formed Cloud Foundry advisory board, it has its second member: CenturyLink-owned Saavis.

An open-source PaaS developed by VMware, Cloud Foundry was recently moved to Pivotal, a new venture jointly owned by VMware and EMC. In the wake of its move to the spinoff, it appears the project’s owners are hoping to get additional partners on board.

The key to this latest partnership is AppFog, the PaaS providers purchased by CenturyLink and added to its Saavis subdivision in June. AppFog’s platform has been based on Cloud Foundry from the very beginning, and they will be providing the majority of interaction of this deal.

As with IBM, developers from AppFog will be working “shoulder-to-shoulder” with Pivotal’s engineering team on the Cloud Foundry codebase via the “Cloud Foundry Dojo”. Saavis will also become a platinum sponsor of the Clound Foundry-centric Platform conference in September.

So how do these companies benefit from these deals, considering that Cloud Foundry is open source anyway? For a start, it serves to counter worries over the company’s dominance over the project; the more companies on board, the more trustworthy it becomes to outsiders wary of lock-in. Meanwhile, by entering a formal partnership, the advisory board members gain increased control over a project that is – at least in the case of AppFog – essential to their business.

Expect additional members to join over the coming months. Asian tech giants Baidu and Rakuten are tentatively on board – at least, according to Lucas Carlson, VP of cloud evangelism for CenturyLink.

However, even with such large names now backing Cloud Foundry, the battle for the top of the PaaS pile is far from over. And the project isn’t even the only major open source option: Red Hat’s OpenShift is being pushed equally as hard.

The entire market also faces an uphill struggle to convince the enterprise market to adopt – private PaaSes in particular have seen a slow uptake. Still, with the might of General Engineering, VMware, EMC, IBM and now CenturyLink behind it, Cloud Foundry may just make it.

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