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Users Want Cross-Platform Flexibility, Cloud Foundry + Kubernetes Deliver

Less than two weeks after a phenomenal Cloud Foundry Summit in Boston, I find myself in Copenhagen for KubeCon/CloudNativeCon. Naturally, as I build out my keynote address on the future of cloud-native, my mind is focused on Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes. A mainstay subject across all tracks at Cloud Foundry Summit was cross-platform flexibility — specifically how Cloud Foundry users are integrating Kubernetes and other technologies into their DevOps solution. Our recently published 2018 User Report found that nine out of 10 Cloud Foundry users cite cross-platform flexibility as important, with 67 percent calling it “very important.”

Surprised? I wasn’t. I believe the future of the cloud-native universe depends on the interoperability of available open source technologies — and it’s no surprise that the folks using Cloud Foundry on a daily basis see this too.

How does this manifest? According to our User Report — which surveyed over 600 Cloud Foundry users worldwide — 13 percent of Cloud Foundry Application Runtime (CFAR) users are already using Cloud Foundry Container Runtime (CFCR), while another 45 percent are evaluating it. CFCR was announced at Cloud Foundry EU Summit in Basel, Switzerland, this past October, and the survey was conducted earlier in 2018, indicating that CFAR users are adopting CFCR at a swift rate. The speed of adoption for this Certified Kubernetes technology is remarkable.

CFCR gives developers and operators alike a simple method to create a highly available Kubernetes environment with Cloud Foundry BOSH, avoiding former pitfalls users might encounter. CFCR is a system that packages Kubernetes for deployment and management by Cloud Foundry BOSH. The project ensures a pure upstream Kubernetes experience, enhanced by BOSH management capabilities.

CFCR exemplifies the best of open source interoperability. It addresses the needs of our community and builds a bridge to an adjacent community, bringing us closer together as neighbors to envision and create the cloud-native future.

CFCR is the primary Kubernetes-related project that is part of Cloud Foundry today, but it’s not the only work being done to combine the technologies. Another experiment in the cross-collaborative communities is the Orchestrator Provider Interface, a project proposed for incubation within the Cloud Foundry Foundation. It is focused on providing an API inside of  CFAR to allow the option of using Kubernetes as the underlying container scheduler. There is currently a prototype of this project which enables a “cf push” to Kubernetes.

Another project proposed for incubation is a “Containerized” Cloud Foundry Application Runtime control plane, whose goal is to create a deployment experience for the CFAR control plane components that is “Kubernetes native.”

These experiments are indicative of the constant innovation and cross-collaboration among our communities — whether supported directly by the Cloud Foundry Foundation or the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. I’ll be speaking more about the connective tissue between these communities in my keynote at KubeCon/CloudNativeCon on Thursday, May 3, at 9:55 AM in Congress Hall A at the Bella Center Copenhagen. Come join me!

And download the 2018 User Report for more insight into what the Cloud Foundry user community is all about, and share our infographic on your social handles!

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Abby Kearns, AUTHOR

Abby is the Executive Director of the Cloud Foundry Foundation.