Using OpenStack to Take Cloud Foundry into High Gear

August 23, 2013 Cloud Foundry

featured-cf-genericIn this guest post, Piston Cloud CTO and co-founder Josh McKenty shares why Piston’s OpenStack community infrastructure is a catalyst for growing and expanding the Cloud Foundry community.

By now, most of you have noticed Piston’s growing involvement with Cloud Foundry, and our maturing partnership with Pivotal. It started with our collaboration to support running Cloud Foundry on top of OpenStack, and has matured through a number of joint customers, and more recently, a deepening engagement in Cloud Foundry development itself. So today’s announcement that we have agreed to provide community infrastructure for the CF development ecosystem, should come as no surprise.

Last week, we rapidly deployed a Piston OpenStack environment for the Cloud Foundry community. This IaaS environment will allow us to provide the key services that every emerging open source ecosystem needs: continuous integration, code review, and a running reference environment.

We’ve started with a relatively small cluster – about 120 vCPUs, 320GB of RAM and 8TB of highly reliable shared storage. (One of the key features in Piston OpenStack is the fact that we can scale this up later without any service interruptions). We have an ambitious but simple goal – to keep up with and continue to support the growing Cloud Foundry ecosystem.

Our engagement with Pivotal on Cloud Foundry arises from two factors: firstly, our customers have been asking for a tighter integration between Cloud Foundry and OpenStack. But perhaps even more exciting, is the opportunity to help Cloud Foundry take the vision of open source governance that we’ve been engaged in for years with OpenStack, and crank it into 5th gear.

Piston is one of the first OpenStack companies, and we’ve been big advocates of the OpenStack Foundation (which we helped to establish) and its community governance process. As Andy Shafer pointed out, there are many ways to organize any developer ecosystem, from the benevolent-dictator model popular in Linux, through the first-among-equals model of the Apache foundation, to the “motivated stewardship” approach that Cloud Foundry has taken. There really is no single right answer. One thing we can wholeheartedly agree upon, is that what matters is the alignment between the culture of the community, and the process it uses to organize itself.

With OpenStack, we have proven that we can scale a community. With Cloud Foundry, we’re now focused on seeing if we can corner at 160MPH!

The idea of “cloud computing” – from IaaS through PaaS – is really just about providing the computing resources to keep up with the fast-paced DevOps and Agile lifecycle. Both Pivotal and Piston team members were early pioneers in Agile. At NASA, my team (the NASA Nebula project, precursor to OpenStack) was one of the first agile teams in the Agency, possibly in the federal government. And Pivotal has famously helped companies from Google-size to the proverbial “two folks in a garage”, embrace and excel with agile methodologies.

Pivotal are the right partner for this adventure. They’re committed to open source, to agile, and to achieving ridiculous velocity. They have more full time engineers dedicated solely to shepherding pull requests than many open source projects have in their entirety. But most importantly, they’re committed to the evolution of stewardship – to matching the community processes to its emerging culture. And this starts with creating an open community infrastructure.

We’re extremely proud to be providing infrastructure to the emerging Cloud Foundry community, to power its own evolution. If you’ve got ideas – for Cloud Foundry, or the CF-infrastructure – then swing by the Piston booth at the Cloud Foundry Platform conference, September 8-9 2013 in Santa Clara, CA. Or give us a shout on twitter.

About the Author Prior to co-founding Piston Cloud Computing, Joshua McKenty was the Architect of NASA’s Nebula Cloud Computing Platform and the OpenStack compute components. As a board member of the OpenStack Foundation, Joshua plays an instrumental role in the OpenStack community. He led the development of the Cloud Foundry CPI for OpenStack.

About the Author


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