IBM recently announced plans to work with Pivotal in order to accelerate the development of Cloud Foundry, the open source Platform as a Service project that is part of Pivotal, the spin-off from VMware and its parent company EMC. The partnership with Pivotal indicates that Big Blue is going all in on open source cloud technologies as underscored by its well-known commitment to OpenStack, the open source IaaS project that celebrated its third birthday on July 19. IBM’s support of Cloud Foundry means that it is now backing open source Platform as a Service in addition to Infrastructure as a Service in a move that illustrates how Big Blue intends to differentiate itself from its competition by staking out early positions of influence regarding the trajectory of promising open source PaaS and IaaS technologies.
Daniel Sabbah, general manager of Next Generation Platforms, IBM, commented on Cloud Foundry’s significance to IBM as follows:
Cloud Foundry’s potential to transform business is vast, and steps like the one taken today help open the ecosystem up for greater client innovation. IBM will incorporate Cloud Foundry into its open cloud architecture, and put its full support behind Cloud Foundry as an open and collaborative platform for cloud application development, as it has done historically for key technologies such as Linux and OpenStack.
Sabbah notes how Cloud Foundry will become part of IBM’s “open cloud architecture”and thereby illustrative of its belief that “cloud computing needs to be built on open source and standards.” Whereas the first iteration of IBM’s “open cloud architecture” philosophy was heavily based on OpenStack, its recent partnership with Pivotal is likely to compel a revision of the specifics of its commitment to open source cloud platforms and APIs with greater attention to Cloud Foundry. IBM’s backing of Cloud Foundry will enhance its credibility amongst enterprise customers as well as contribute to its governance processes. The larger point, here, however, is that the clamor for open source cloud technologies is trending towards increased support from the enterprise. As Pivotal establishes a Cloud Foundry advisory board, expect more and more companies to pledge support for Cloud Foundry in what amounts to an industry-wide demand for open standards and interoperability. We should also expect some kind of formal collaboration between OpenStack and Cloud Foundry to develop as the latter’s governance process matures.