Mapping the Cloud-Native Journey

July 21, 2015 James Watters


sfeatured-enterprise-native-cloudOSCON 2015 organizers reported over 30 talks submitted on Microservices this year, up from a single talk last year from Pivotal. A few years ago, the divide between infrastructure and developer interests was much more stark at OSCON, with developer-centric leaders like Tim Bray critiquing Openstack’s importance to OSCON’s developer audience. 2015 is an inflection point: the Cloud-Native revolution has arrived, impacting both infrastructure and applications.

As the leader in Cloud-Native Java with Spring Boot/Cloud and Cloud-Native Platforms with Cloud Foundry, Pivotal has been at the intersection of microservices, continuous delivery, and multi-cloud portability since being founded in 2013. This new wave fundamentally alters application architectures and workflows for developers and operators building the next generation of data hungry, digital experiences.

Evidence of a revolutionary change is everywhere. Over the last year downloads for Spring Boot have grown to over 1.4M a month, altering the industry’s pre-cloud monolithic legacy as it grows. Spring Boot is one of the key technologies behind Netflix’s microservice architecture and enables many services on their Continuous Delivery / Tools team.

Spring Boot is the most popular microservices developer technology in the world

Spring Boot is the most popular microservices developer technology in the world

In addition to our robust microservices technical communities, Pivotal is the leader in Cloud-Native enterprise products. In May, at Cloud Foundry Summit, we showcased 10 Fortune 500 customers speaking about their transformation projects based on Pivotal Cloud Foundry and Spring technologies, and also publicly welcomed J.P. Morgan Chase to the Cloud Foundry Foundation community with an endorsement from their CIO.

The shift within successful Cloud-Native enterprises affects all layers of the stack, but results in revolutionary efficiency and time to market.

#1 Cloud-Native Framework

New application architectures are enabling more efficient continuous delivery by independent teams, and are at the heart of the Cloud-Native revolution. Monolithic Java EE applications are a poor fit for modern cloud infrastructure principles and agile teams. In order to make ‘speed’ a key cultural value, Netflix enabled teams to work more independently and efficiently with a microservice based architecture.image01

Cloud Foundry is fundamentally polyglot, supporting most modern programing languages out of the box. Building on the incredible microservices developer traction of Spring Boot, we have also built a reference Cloud-Native framework implementation called Spring Cloud. Spring Cloud incorporates the latest in distributed application technology from Netflix OSS as well as advanced configuration and service discovery as simple annotations within the framework.

After the publication of O’Reilly’s Migrating To Cloud-Native Application architectures by Matt Stine, Pivotal’s Spring Cloud product manager, we have been overwhelmed with enterprise interest in converting to cloud-native architectures. Cloud-Native Java is particularly appealing to enterprises modernizing their architectures to leveraging existing skillsets while integrating with legacy applications with an evolutionary approach. At SpringOne2GX this fall, we will also be showing advanced enterprise integration microservice patterns on Cloud Foundry and Lattice.

#2 Cloud-Native Container Runtime

Cloud-Native applications require a new approach to application containers and infrastructure. Moving away from monolithic architectures presents a new set of optimization opportunities. As applications are spread across diverse Linux and Windows Containers, shared services such as service discovery, routing, logging, scheduling, health management, metrics, access control, security, environmental buildpacks all become critical to efficient application delivery and operations. Pivotal Cloud Foundry has built a full distributed application container system called the “Elastic Runtime” which incorporates all of these services and many more with a built in set of application centric semantics.

The Cloud-Native Container community is experiencing explosive growth and industry attention. and Pivotal Cloud Foundry has been the leading solution for teams looking to consume a pre-built and integrated OSS solution to this challenge. Only Pivotal Cloud Foundry is available both as a hosted service as well as fully supported, production proven enterprise software. This integrated platform approach has shown incredible ROI at top enterprises and institutions with one Fortune-50 retailer development team remarking: “What took us over a month to set up with Docker alone we can now deploy to production with the Cloud Foundry platform in minutes!”

The integrated approach extends to the Cloud-Native Runtime’s integration, with Spring Cloud services being pre-packaged for simple consumption on the platform through our built in marketplace. One leading satellite entertainment provider called this unique blend of microservices supporting features a “no brainer” for their next generation digital services platform.

Pivotal is working with the Open Container community to support industry standards in our container architecture and is committed to delivering the world’s leading integrated distributed container runtime for Cloud-Native applications.

#3 Cloud-Native Infrastructure Automation

High impact OS and encryption-level security vulnerabilities are a fact of life. More and more organizations are looking for solutions to the inherent complexity of managing operating systems under Cloud-Native platforms. Cloud Foundry’s visionary solution is to embed a minimal container friendly operating system, managed by the platform, allowing all containers to be updated without downtime whenever a vulnerability needs to be patched. Users of cloud services such as Dynamo DB from AWS, or Workday never worry about manually managing operating systems and Pivotal Cloud Foundry is the first platform to extend this experience to enterprise software with incredible results. One leading UK based financial service company observed the revolutionary simplicity vs. their prior monolithically layered approach saying:

Our approach also ensures a bit for bit identical deployment on any cloud in the exact way we run our own hosted version. Cloud-Native automation integrates directly into the infrastructure APIs of each provider to keep inefficient human intervention to zero within the core system. Portability between clouds is also uniquely achieved at the platform layer through this system, as the CPI (Cloud Provider Interface) library translates the APIs of each cloud into a common set of system resources. With the success of the Cloud Foundry Foundation we have attracted OSS contributions from leading cloud infrastructure communities such as Openstack, VMware and Microsoft Azure.

Looking Forward

As the company that gave the first OSCON talk on microservices and literally wrote the book on migrating to Cloud-Native Applications, OSCON 2015 is an exciting time for Pivotal. As far as we have come in the industry-wide shift to Cloud-Native, we aren’t nearly done.

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About the Author

James Watters

James Watters is the Senior Vice President, Strategy of Pivotal. James serves as our Senior Vice President, Strategy, where he has helped shepherd Pivotal Cloud Foundry into a highly disruptive enterprise software business, and helped led our efforts to bringing our cloud-native platform to the world. Prior to joining Pivotal, James held leading product roles at VMware and Sun Microsystems.

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