Cloud Foundry Foundation
Cloud Foundry standardises PaaS products, making it particularly developer-friendly. Renowned IT industry names are members of the foundation, and are involved in shaping the open-source platform standard. This includes Swisscom and this with great success.
They are all considered major players in the global IT landscape: In this market, companies such as Cisco, IBM, Dell EMC, Suse or SAP are all involved in a relentless battle for customers and market share – and ultimately for the leading position in the IT business. This makes it all the more astounding when these companies suddenly join forces to work together on new platform standards for the software development of today.
And exactly this is the case at the Cloud Foundry. The project, which was originally launched by VMware and Pivotal, became a vendor-neutral foundation in December 2014. Along with the «platinum members» such as Cisco, IBM or SAP, companies such as Google, Microsoft, Suse or HPE are also involved in the project – just like Swisscom is as a founding member of the foundation. The number of users of the platform who have also joined the alliance – for example the Allianz Group, Ford, Philipps or the VW Group – is also remarkable.
The aim pursued by the alliance: to develop an industry standard for Platform as a Service environments. As such, Cloud Foundry ensures interoperability: Services for cloud applications are expected to be able to be provided using a non-vendor-dependent and therefore uniform, straightforward user interface. «We want an open platform standard,» as Marco Hochstrasser, the Head of Cloud Platform Development at Swisscom and a member of the Board of Directors of Cloud Foundry, says. «We are therefore using the resources, expertise and input of this group of renowned IT companies and customers in order to develop an open-source standard together.» Swisscom has already been able to make a name for itself in the foundation – and was elected to the Board of Directors of Cloud Foundry in 2015. «This shows that we’ve got a finger on the pulse of the times, and are respected by the global community,» Hochstrasser explains. «We are extremely well positioned here, and our experience means we have a lot to contribute.»
«Cloud Foundry allows companies to operate a 10-year platform strategy.»
Marco Hochstrasser, Head Cloud Platform Development von Swisscom
Above all, developers are expected to profit from the open-source standard – and this has always been the foundation’s main focus. Hochstrasser explains how developer-friendly the platform is: «Cloud Foundry users won’t, for example, have to know the IP address or the port. While this information is important for the platform itself, all the developers want is for their code to run.» This is also what the foundation’s philosophy is based on: «Here is my source code, run it on the cloud for me, I don’t care how.» Procuring resources or services will become a secondary activity for developers, who can dedicate their full concentration to the USPs of their solutions. The container-based architecture of Cloud Foundry also allows different program languages such as Java, nodejs, Ruby, .NET or Go to be run without problems.
The major benefit for customers: Those who decide for a service provider that uses the Cloud Foundry standard won’t need to worry about proprietary lock-in. This is because the standard promises compatibility: «There might be other technologies on the market which are trendier, but they’re also volatile, and change very quickly,» Hochstrasser explains. «Cloud Foundry allows companies to operate a 10-year platform strategy. If at some point they should no longer be happy with their provider, then there are several other Cloud Foundry-certified distributions or providers available.»
The Cloud Foundry Summit is held every year both in Silicon Valley and in Europe . The members meet up at the summit and discuss the latest technological breakthroughs, as well as the further strategy for the standard. A who’s who of the IT industry, as Hochstrasser recently reported from the Valley: «Most providers such as Dell EMC, Cisco and so on are in attendance with the CTO or VP – just getting these together in one room is a logistical tour de force.» And Swisscom is playing a leading role: Cloud Foundry launched a worldwide training and certification program for software developers last March. The foundation used the occasion of the summit to announce that the Swisscom Application Cloud will be used to conduct these certifications. Swisscom prevailed against all the other providers. «We use the resources, expertise and input of this group of renowned IT companies and customers in order to develop an open-source standard for PaaS together.» Marco Hochstrasser, the Head of Cloud Platform Development at Swisscom and a member of the Board of Directors of Cloud Foundry
Cloud Foundry was holding the Europe Summit this year in Basel: On 11-12 October, developers, enterprises and organisations came together at the Congress Centre to compare notes on the current status and future of the Cloud Foundry standard. The programme at the Basel Cloud Foundry Summit included keynotes, a hackathon and a variety of specialist lectures, including one about cloud-native micro services. In addition, expertsreported on the standard’s latest update. Swisscom not only was attending the summit as a platinum sponsor, but was also holding a keynote speech with Dr Andreas Häberli, CTO of the dorma+kaba Group, which uses the Swisscom Application Cloud to develop new security and access solutions.
Swisscom’s Enterprise Application Cloud is based on the Cloud Foundry standard. The PaaS environment is used by companies to develop applications more quickly and with greater agility, and to have them up and running in Switzerland quickly and straightforwardly. The open-source Cloud Foundry standard allows companies to change from one provider to another without problems. When doing so, the platform is scaled and deployed accordingly within the shortest of times. This makes fast reaction times possible and guarantees companies the agility they need – while all data are secure and are kept in Switzerland.