Pivotal Cloud Foundry: The Power of an App-Centric Approach

December 2, 2016

FAQs around App Instances, Containers and Infrastructure Utilization

This document explains the basics of Pivotal’s App-Centric Approach and covers frequently asked questions about App Instances, Containers and Microservices. Pivotal’s App Instance (AI) model makes it easy for IT Operations to scale applications, manage app health and improve infrastructure utilization. The result is a highly responsive and dynamic platform for your Developer and IT Ops teams.

What is an App-Centric Approach?

An Application-centric approach puts applications at the center of your Developer and IT Operations teams. All underlying infrastructure and platforms are built with a single goal in mind – Accelerate application deployment at scale. A continuous delivery model supports an app-centric approach where the focus is on application orchestration as opposed to configuration management in the traditional infrastructure-centric approach. An app-centric model supports cloud-ready apps, making them easier to manage, deploy and migrate.

What is an Application Instance (AI) and Why is it Powerful?

The concept of an AI is central to cloud computing. An AI represents an application or part of an application and acts as the basic building block for scaling and responding to changes in the volume of requests to the app. At any given time, an application may be running as one AI or many AI’s, handling requests across all of them.

How does an App Instance Relate to Containers and Microservices?

Containers are a logical construct with the primary goal to provide isolation and abstraction. In Pivotal Cloud Foundry, each AI runs in its own container. Containers virtualize the underlying OS leading the application to believe that they have full, unshared access to their very own copy of that OS and middleware. This is analogous to what Virtual Machines (VM) do when they virtualize the hardware at a lower level. Containers allow multiple AIs to run on a single VM to maximize its flexibility and utilization.

Microservices is an architectural approach to developing a single application as a suite of small services, each running in its own process and communicating with lightweight mechanisms, often an HTTP resource API. These services are built around business capabilities and independently deployed; they could be developed in different languages by different teams. Pivotal Cloud Foundry App Instances are built on a microservices architecture enabling rapid scaling where resources are needed, as opposed to scaling the entire application stack in a VM (‘scale out vs. scale up’).

What are the Benefits of Application Instances in Pivotal Cloud Foundry?

Application instances are essential to making Pivotal Cloud Foundry flexible and customer TCO predictable:

  • AIs abstract underlying infrastructure differences in pricing and physical characteristics. As enterprise infrastructure needs change or diversify, AIs act as the common unit of measure offering a predictable TCO.
  • AIs serve as a common unit of scale across many types of applications using the variety of languages and frameworks supported by Pivotal Cloud Foundry.
  • AIs offer better infrastructure utilization by providing more application density than VM’s.

How does Pivotal Cloud Foundry Offer Value in an Application Instance?

Turnkey experience: Functionality resulting from an assembly of several technologies and products like application servers, infrastructure monitoring, server configuration automation and much more, is all incorporated into the turnkey PaaS experience. Every AI deployed on Pivotal Cloud Foundry automatically benefits from:

  • App health management
  • Software load balancing
  • Application performance monitoring
  • Log aggregation and export
  • Network access policy enforcement
  • Audit events
  • Service discovery and secure credential storage
  • Access to a variety of Dev Services. e.g. MySQL for Pivotal Cloud Foundry

Additionally, the subscription price includes:

  • Ability to run a variety of apps on the same platform e.g. Java, Spring, Ruby Node.js, PHP, Python, Go and more
  • Commercial support

Pivotal Cloud Foundry removes the complexity and reduces the cost of managing this collection of different products that forms a major impediment today for companies seeking to compete in the new app economy.

Improved infrastructure utilization: In Pivotal Cloud Foundry, AIs consume only a fraction of the Virtual Machine (VM) resources for CPU, memory, disk usage and network access. It’s modern architecture improves infrastructure utilization by optimally packing together variable sized application containers that are isolated to prevent competition for VM resources.

Elastic, self-healing and highly available apps: Pivotal Cloud Foundry enables a no downtime ethos because built in to every AI is auto scaling, self healing, 4 levels of high availability making IT Teams magnitudes more efficient.

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