Launched in April 2011, Cloud Foundry was touted as the first open PaaS solution. It is part of a new generation of application platform, designed specifically for cloud environments and delivered as a service from enterprise datacenters and public cloud service providers. Cloud Foundry was built with help from Mark Lucovsky, the technical director at VMware, and Derek Collison, chief architect of VMware’s Cloud Services division.
“The shift to cloud computing is fundamentally transforming what businesses and consumers expect from applications, profoundly challenging traditional application development and infrastructure. Cloud Foundry delivers a dramatically simplified approach that embraces the diversity and speed of modern development that is at the heart of today’s most successful applications while exploiting key trends in mobile, social and cloud computing.”
“For all the developer interest in the potential benefits to PaaS solutions, actual adoption has been slowed by their employment of non-standard components and frameworks which raise the threat of lock-in. With Cloud Foundry, VMware is providing developers a PaaS platform with the liberal licensing and versatility to accommodate the demand for choice in developer programming languages.”
One of the most notable aspects about Cloud Foundry is that its open architecture offers developers greater choice in three key areas:
- Choice of developer frameworks. Cloud Foundry rejects the notion that developers must choose from a limited number of frameworks, or be restricted to a single framework. For this reason, it supports multiple frameworks, such as Spring for Java, Rails and Sinatra for Ruby, Node.js and Grails.
- Choice of application infrastructure services. Cloud Foundry supports diverse application services, including data, messaging and web services. Currently, the service supports MySQL, MongoDB and Redis, and continues to develop its capacity to support other application services.
- Choice of clouds in which to deploy applications. Cloud Foundry offers users ta choice of clouds for application deployment, including public and private clouds, as well as VMware and non-VMware clouds. Cloud Foundry can run on top of vSphere and vCloud infrastructure, in addition to other infrastructure clouds. Thanks to its open architecture, it can also be implemented on top of other infrastructure technologies, including Eucalyptus or OpenStack.
Cloud Foundry will be offered in multiple delivery models, including:
- New VMware Operated Developer Service – This is available in beta release and is a fully-functional public cloud PaaS service operated by VMware. This enables developers to access Cloud Foundry and provides a test bed for new services and operational optimization. This PaaS environment allows developers to deploy and cloud-scale their applications in seconds.
- Open Source, Community PaaS Project – This open source project and community under Apache 2 license enables developers to inspect, evaluate and modify Cloud Foundry software, according to their own needs, while simultaneously reducing the risk of lock-in. This delivery model offers the highest degree of extensibility, and allows the community to extend and integrate Cloud Foundry with any framework, application service or infrastructure cloud.
- New Cloud Foundry Micro Cloud – This is a complete, downloadable instance of Cloud Foundry, contained within a virtual machine on a developer’s desktop. This will enable the simplified development and testing of applications. This unique model allows developers to build and test applications on their own machines and ensures that applications running locally will also run in production.
- Cloud Foundry for the Enterprise and Service Providers – When this model is available, it will serve as a commercial version of Cloud Foundry for enterprises wishing to offer PaaS capabilities within their own private clouds and for service providers wishing to offer Cloud Foundry through their public cloud services.
We are seeing more and more modern developer technologies becoming available as open source. This enables developers to inspect, evaluate and modify the software based on their own needs, and avoid the risk of lock in. Cloud Foundry is an open source project with a community site at cloudfoundry.org, which allows users to collaborate and contribute to the Cloud Foundry project.
This article takes a look at Cloud Foundry, an application platform designed specifically for the cloud environment. It is delivered as a service from enterprise datacenters and public cloud service providers. Cloud Foundry will eventually be offered in four delivery models: 1) New VMware Operated Developer Service; 2) Open Source, Community PaaS Project; 3) New Cloud Foundry Micro Cloud; and 4) Cloud Foundry for the Enterprise and Service Providers.
CCSK Exam Preparation
In preparation for the Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK), a security professional should be comfortable with topics related to this post, including:
- Lock-in Risk Mitigation Techniques (Domain 6)
- Provider Selection (Domain 8 )
- Differences in SPI Models (Domain 10)
- Virtual Machines (Domain 13)