Cloud Foundry, IBM, Pivotal
Using Cloud Foundry

IBM continues to play in the open source and cloud space, this time with the announcement that it is teaming up with EMC spin-off Pivotal to develop technologies that will enable Cloud Foundry’s Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) to work with IBM’s technology, as well as the OpenStack IaaS cloud.

Supporting Cloud Foundry Community

Together, IBM and Pivotal say their combined efforts will create an open governance model for the Cloud Foundry community. Cloud Foundry is an Apache 2.0 license project established by Pivotal to enable the deployment of open source public and private clouds.

According to a statement issued by the two companies Wednesday morning, the push to develop this partnership for IBM comes from its cloud clients -- it says it has over 9,000 -- who are looking for more agile ways to develop cloud-based mobile, social and analytics applications.

By developing Cloud Foundry, Pivotal and IBM can provide a cloud development platform that doesn’t hinder development programs by vendor lock-in and enables enterprises to develop and build apps in a flexible, scalable and secure manner.

IBM cites the example of a retailer that wants to develop an e-commerce app quickly. With this partnership and through Cloud Foundry, retailers should be able to develop an app very quickly to respond to immediate business needs, like a product promotion for example, and to run that app across a number of different cloud infrastructures.

IBM Open Cloud Initiatives

The Pivotal partnership follows IBM’s announcement earlier this year that it would be basing all its cloud services and software on the OpenStack open cloud architecture and related standards, which it said would avoid vendor lock-in and the development of unmanageable, unwieldy, cloud deployments.

It also announced at that point a new private cloud offering for enterprises, called IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator, build around OpenStack, which offers enterprises the ability to rapidly build new cloud services.

Then there was the SoftLayer buy in early June, which IBM said would make it a leader in cloud computing. Soon after that the announcement that its DB2 and open source MongoDB (or to be precise MongoDB’s parent company 10gen) were getting together to collaborate on a new standard to make it easier for enterprises to implement data-intensive apps for the Web and mobile. You get the picture.

This partnership doesn't come out of the blue. It is just the latest step in the development of a more agile and flexible cloud strategy for IBM and a clear indication of where it is going in the future. Daniel Sabbah, general manager of Next Generation Platforms, IBM, said of the partnership:

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. This paired with open source and standards such as Open Stack, OSLC, and TOSCA brings the industry closer to an interoperable cloud…

IBM WebSphere Liberty Core

However, this is not just talk. Already, IBM and Pivotal announced a preview version of IBM WebSphere is available on Cloud Foundry.

Called IBM WebSphere Liberty Core, it is a lightweight version of Application Server and enables rapid development and deployment of web, mobile, social and analytics applications with fewer resources.

This means that developers that use Liberty Core on Cloud Foundry, will benefit from the robustness of the WebSphere platform and the agility of the cloud architecture. This is only the start of this project so watch out as more technologies end up on Cloud Foundry.