A Quick Tour Of Partner Services In Pivotal Cloud Foundry

November 25, 2015 Simon Elisha

sfeatured-podcastOne of the great things about Pivotal Cloud Foundry® (PCF) is how easy it is for 3rd parties to add in new capabilities. In particular, by using the Operations Manager to easily import, install and expose new services to users of the platform. In this episode, we look at some of the new services available including products for source control, artifact repositories, log management and more!




Welcome to the Pivotal Perspectives Podcast. The podcast at the intersection of Agile, Cloud, and Big Data. Stay tuned for regular updates, technical deep dives, architecture discussions, and interviews. Now let’s join Pivotal’s Australia and New Zealand CTO, Simon Elisha, for the Pivotal Perspectives Podcast.

Simon Elisha:
Hello everybody and welcome back to the podcast. Great to have you back for another week. My name is Simon Elisha as you probably know from the intro, coming to you this week from Perth. Still traveling, still doing the hotel thing. The audio may be a little interesting. I think I have a dripping tap in the background that you may or may not be able to hear. Depends on the sensitivity of the microphone, and of your headphones, I guess.

This week I thought we’d take a moment to discuss some of the partner services that are available for PCF. That list increased recently with our 1.6 release of PCF. What these services are, are tiles that you can easily import into the Ops Manager and implement new services within PCF that are provided by our third party partners. These are other products that are developed by other people, but can be deployed in and managed by Cloud Foundry under the control of the Ops Manager.

Why would you want to do this? This means that you can easily implement these new services in your environment, you can run them on a variety of platforms depending on the particular service itself, and you can still get commercial support from those providers. They’re providing a different way to deliver their product to you and to your developers and operations teams, an easy way to consume from the PCF console.

I thought I’d run you through a few of them and just give you a taste of what’s out there. The first one is the Cloud Bees Jenkins Enterprise for PCF. Many of you listening will be very familiar with Jenkins, it is probably the leading continuous integration, continuous deployment tool that’s out there. Jenkins by Cloud Bees is integrated entirely into PCF by giving you enhanced application developer workflow. What this means is it’s tied in very closely to things like UAA for single sign on functionality, it can segregate builds by users in space, it deals with the isolation for you. Everything, gits obviously very easily deployed into Cloud Foundry as well. It can also tie in to our Blue/Green deployment strategy which I’ve talked about in the past. The Cloud Bees Jenkins enterprise tile is a really quick and easy way to get your own Jenkins server or servers set up in your environment and used for your development projects.

If your scalings are larger, you’ve got lots of development servers, lots of Jenkins servers in your environment, then another tile comes into play and this is the Cloud Bees Jenkins Operation Center. This is useful tool again with the integrated Cloud Foundry UAA single sign on capability. It let’s you manage multiple Jenkins Enterprise masters. Think of it as a master of masters to some extent. If you’re deploying a large number of Jenkins servers in your environment then this is the tool that you want to manage it for you. With Jenkins from Cloud Bees we have the ability to do a CI/CD using a very well known, very well supported tool, that works super well obviously for Java, but also for lot’s of other languages including Ruby, Node.js, etc.

Another interesting tile is called knowtify. It’s not spelled the way it sounds so I’m going to spell it out. It’s K N O W T I F Y. Knowtify. This is a log analytics too. This allows you to do some pretty interesting visualizations search and analysis of logs in your environment. Again, simple implementation using the tile into your environment and now you can get log analytics on demand within your environment, which is kind of nice.

Another one that’s really important for you workflow is one called GitLab. GitLab provides Git which is probably the best known source code repository going around these days, probably one of the most popular ones in more modern development teams. GitLab prides itself on providing a very robust enterprise grade get capability that includes things like multiple active servers and other highly available set ups so you can have really scalable implementation. You can run more users on a single server than most other source code repository types. It also has an even more granular security model as well for who gets access to what in the environment. If you’re doing any project you’re going to need some sort of control, the benefit of having this tile means you can very simply, easily, and quickly deploy your source control in your environment and use it in a common way.

When you’re building things you’re going to build artifacts, and where do these artifacts have to go? No location, JFrog artifactory is now another tile that is now available as a service within PCF. This means that you can implement JFrog Artifactory either within your firewall or on the cloud of your choice that is running PCF and you can deploy and use this capability to store, maintain, proxy and do all the other cool things you do with artifacts within your environment. In fact, it’s kind of a linchpin of what you end up doing because as you’re building applications, doing developments, any sort of CI/CD you’re going to be creating and consuming different artifacts along the way. Artifactory is the kind of universal repository manager that sits there and can talk to all the internal systems, talk to your CI/CD systems, can do integration with Gradle with Maven and it can also talk to remote repositories as well. It gives you a nice little view of the world from the perspective.

The last one I want to mention is something called ELK for PCF. This is produced by StayUp.io. They have a neat little website stayup.io that you can go have a look at. This is an ELK for PCF file. ELK is elasticsearch, logstash and Kibana for those of you playing along at home. Essentially it provides a really nifty visualization and activity engine to see what your applications are doing within PCF. Currently in beta, so it’s one to have a play with, but certainly one that’s worth having a look at. There’s a great demo as well on the website that you can have a look at to see kind of what it does, how it works, and the benefits it gives you.

Essentially what it let’s you do is get deeper insight into what’s happening with your application, take action appropriately, and this can help you do things like riling out new versions, making sure that the new versions you roll out are actually useful, are the performing better than the old version, etc. A few different choices to play with there.

The nice thing is for any of you listening who may be interested in creating some of these tiles, there’s also a complete guide about how to create these particular external services, the way you go about creating those product tiles, the way you can you BOSH to take advantage of that, and the way it ties in to Ops Manager. From an operations perspective it means it easy to take on and use these new services in your PCF environment, it ties it in to the same Ops Manager experience, which is basically download tile, point and click, configure, and away you go. From a developer perspective, it exposes a whole bunch of new capabilities which are really important to the development and ongoing operations process of the application that is all part of the same platform. It’s something to have a look at.

I’ll provide links in the show notes to all these capabilities and you can pick and choose the ones you want to have a play with. I hope that was useful, something to look at that’s relatively new and until next time, keep on building.

Thanks for listening to the Pivotal Perspectives Podcast with Simon Elisha. We trust you’ve enjoyed it and ask that you share it with other people who may also be interested. Now we’d love to hear your feedback so please send any comments or suggestions to podcast@pivitol.io. We look forward to having you join us next time on the Pivotal Perspectives Podcast.

About the Author

Simon Elisha is CTO & Senior Manager of Field Engineering for Australia & New Zealand at Pivotal. With over 24 years industry experience in everything from Mainframes to the latest Cloud architectures - Simon brings a refreshing and insightful view of the business value of IT. Passionate about technology, he is a pragmatist who looks for the best solution to the task at hand. He has held roles at EDS, PricewaterhouseCoopers, VERITAS Software, Hitachi Data Systems, Cisco Systems and Amazon Web Services.

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