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Cloud Foundry Pros & Cons

Cloud Foundry has a mixed container message, but that's not keeping it from sailing full speed ahead into Fortune 500 data centers.

buzz words," he said. This may be Cloud Foundry's way of not offending CoreOS Rocket or Docker users while keeping its options open. Support for running Docker on Cloud Foundry is coming through the Diego Project within the foundation, with a preview or beta version expected to be available sometime before the end of the year. But Cloud Foundry is far behind rival Red Hat's OpenShift in supplying Docker support. Cloud Foundry's support for Docker may always be lukewarm. If its approach to containers represented by Garden were as popular as Docker, it might talk about it more. But bringing it up now only lends itself to unfavorable comparisons with Docker in terms of marketplace acceptance. If Cloud Foundry's target audience -- made up of large IT shops in the Fortune 500 -- starts adopting containers wholesale, or using Docker in particular, this message will need to clarify itself.

User interface: ActiveState's Stackato "is one of the most mature implementations of Cloud Foundry on the market today," wrote Al Hilwa, IDC analyst for software development, in an email to InformationWeek. "Note that HP uses ActiveState’s implementation inside its Helion PaaS." The HP Helion Development Platform has ease-of-use attributes from its combined command line and user interface interactions, while open source Cloud Foundry has only the command line. Stackato is a commercial implementation of Cloud Foundry available as a service or for installation on premises. It added its own support for Docker containers last year, not waiting for the open source project to do it.

Business models: Cloud Foundry allows you to build an application that can be used for a product for which the user pays by the hour. In his keynote address at Cloud Foundry Summit, Harel Kodesh, VP and CTO of GE Software, said he would like to see additional models become options as well. As examples, he suggested "by the gigawatt," a model that might work well with wind turbines or hydroelectric equipment. He also suggested "by the energy savings," where a percentage of the value of energy saved by GE equipment is shared with GE. Kodesh said, "It's just a matter of time," before either the project adds more models.

Metrics: Cloud Foundry will add ways of instrumenting applications with metrics to report out to system administrators how well the application is running.

Virtual networking: Cloud Foundry will add automated support for VMware's NSX virtual networking, or software defined networking, so that new applications can be deployed with their networking needs already specified.

Container operating system: It will potentially add a version of Linux for running container-oriented hosts, VMware's new Photon system, Watters said.

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