Unless you’ve had your ears plugged and your eyes closed for the past few years, you know that we’re quickly moving away from computing’s 2nd Era and onto the 3rd.

We’ve heard it said that the only industry sector that’s growing more slowly than the one made up of computing’s client-server companies is the tobacco industry.

"Wow!," we said when we heard that. We knew the world was going the way of cloud. We just didn’t know it was happening this quickly.

Evolution and Adoption

So it’s no wonder that nearly 1,000 3rd era computing pioneers are gathering at the Cloud Foundry Summit (#CFSummit) in San Francisco this week. They're discussing the evolution and adoption of Cloud Foundry, the Open Source Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that's rapidly becoming one of the most important initiatives for enterprise cloud strategies.

Some say it's the equivalent of Linux for the Cloud — and a must for interoperability and ease of use on the 3rd platform.

Guiding its Future

Though Cloud Foundry was initially built at VMWare and now finds its home at Pivotal, beginning this fall it will be guided by the not-for-profit Cloud Foundry Foundation (CFF) whose purpose it is to provide governance and serve as a place for Enterprises and developers to pool development resources relating to the Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service project.

"The types of mission-critical applications our enterprise customers build using our Advanced Analytics platform, need to rely on a turnkey PaaS solution.  Pivotal continues to innovate there and their technology has been a great enabler of our mission: changing the world Big Data, on premise and in the cloud”, said Joe Otto, CEO at Alpine Data Labs.

For the non-geeks among us, Cloud Foundry will serve as the platform on which many (the CFF is hoping for all) of tomorrow’s applications will be built. Developers will benefit from its open ecosystem of developer frameworks and application services.

Break It Down, Please

Even more simply stated, Cloud Foundry makes it faster and easier to build, test, deploy and scale applications.

Thirty-three industry leaders such as Pivotal, EMC, VMware, IBM, HP, SAP, Rackspace, Intel, NTT, Verizon,  Alpine Data Labs, Altoros, Anchora, Anynines, AppDynamics, Azul Systems, Blue Box, Canonical, CloudCredo, Docker, jFrog, MongoDB, Piston Cloud Computing, Redis Labs, Stark & Wayne and Telus have pledged to support it. Today Swisscom becomes the thirty-fourth.

These pledges, mind you, are fairly substantial, according to our sources they range from $30,000 to $100,000.

 And though the money is, no doubt, important to support the foundation, so is the number of companies and individuals who will work with and build on the platform.

It’s worth noting that companies like Amazon, which provides mostly proprietary tools with its cloud, is missing from the list as are companies like Salesforce (that has Heroku) its own PaaS, Microsoft and Oracle. Maybe they don’t support the initiative or, perhaps, it’s just a matter of time.

We expect that Cloud Foundry sponsors will have news to share, so check back.

We’ll say it again, with this many companies on board, this is computing history in the making.