A new alliance

IBM and Pivotal join forces on Cloud Foundry

Chris Mayer
Foundry1

The community-focused platform-as-a-service gets a big backer in Big Blue, who will contribute new tools and help set-up a new governance model

Pivotal’s
newly-defined
cloud platform has received a huge ally, with the
news that IBM will be throwing their weight behind Cloud
Foundry

As announced in a
blogpost,
the two companies will be joining
forces to collaborate on components within the open source project,
as well as thrashing out a new governance model. This will see the
creation of an advisory board – on which IBM will sit – helping to
steer the direction for the project, with the community’s
backing.

The agreement will see Big Blue welcome the
platform-as-a-service into its wider cloud architecture, with the
creation of a new project that plans to make programming languages
and frameworks usable on Cloud Foundry. IBM have already revealed
the first phase of the Open Dojo program, where external engineers
are encouraged to work directly with Pivotal’s engineers, by
previewing WebSphere Application Server Liberty Core, their slender
version of the server, and
Liberty Buildpack
, including IBM Java.

Though their warm embrace of en
vogue
open source projects is hardly new (see Java,
Linux, Eclipse as past examples), IBM have been on the hunt to
re-energise their infrastructure in recent months.


Back in March,
the company went all in on
OpenStack, detailing plans to base their entire cloud
infrastructure on the project moving forward. In June,

IBM
gave their blessing
to NoSQL datastore MongoDB,
adding support for the query language. Putting their chips firmly
on the table here suggests they’re onto another winner, giving
credence to the cloud platform market as the way
forward.

Angel Diaz, VP of software standards and cloud
labs at IBM

told Infoworld
that IBM have always
innovated in the open.

“You want folks to come together and drive
innovations, then [you] add value on top of that with your
clients.” he said, before adding that one of IBM’s main goals was
to develop Cloud Foundry to run “in a more first-class way on
OpenStack.

Pivotal haven’t tinkered with the formula of
Cloud Foundry too much, since VMware’s offloading of the
technology. The community has always been at the heart of the
Apache licensed project, with a number of tie-ins to languages,
add-ons and frameworks creating a thriving hub of activity. The
project has been infrastructure-agnostic from the start,
championing no vendor lock-in. IBM’s penchant for OpenStack
shouldn’t changes things in this regard.

In fact, Pivotal don’t see IBM as the only
company to back Cloud Foundry. Head of Product

James Watters said in March
that “adding
full-time external committers has always been a goal of the team.”
IBM’s pledge could cause a domino effect, with further large
enterprises following their lead.

To celebrate the union, IBM and Pivotal will be co-hosting
a two-day Cloud Foundry Conference in Santa Clara this
September.

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