Cloud Foundry Summit: Developers embrace more and more serverless

For the third edition of its summit, the Cloud Foundry Foundation takes stock of its plans to integrate PaaS natively with Kubernetes. Its annual study on the use of its solution also reveals that the use of serverless technologies is becoming more widespread and that developers still need more flexibility and flexibility between platforms.

Live from The Hague. Before time, it's not time. While some shows are already real anthills in the early morning, it is in a conference center almost empty that we enter an hour before the opening keynote Cloud Foundry Summit. This annual European event brings together a few hundred participants (711 registered) to discover the new features of this open source PaaS created by VMware, which Pivotal has recently owned. To open this event, Cloud Foundry Foundation Executive Director Abby Kearns wants to make kayakers' teams of developers their clients. "These athletes must react to the forces of nature in the moment if they do not want to be overwhelmed. And we all know that in order to transform your computer system, you have to deal with the speed of dozens of new emerging technologies. So we are all kayakers now, "adds Abby Kearns to spin the metaphor. "With Cloud Foundry we want to help you better cope with these rapids, be better kayakers."

This goes through three objectives that the Foundation gives itself to support developers: adapt to changes to change faster, adopt greater flexibility between platforms and become increasingly involved in open source. "At Cloud Foundry we automate everything. This is so developers do not focus on problem solving but on application creation, "says the open source PaaS manager.
The serverless is democratized

On the one hand, the Cloud Foundry Foundation shows that developers are increasingly in need of flexibility and rely on serverless technology to accelerate their work. According to its third survey of 306 participants (including 144 qualified users), nine out of ten users look for more flexibility across platforms. This goes through the ecosystem surrounding this open source PaaS (Envoy, Istio, Kubernetes, MySQL, etc.) and the almost universal use of Kubernetes containers. Thus, in 2019, the uses of serverless computing increased by 10% among the panel questioned, when those of Kubernetes climbed by 5%.

The study reveals that one-third of Cloud Foundry users use serverless technologies, the main one being AWS Lambda (34%), followed by Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure Functions (13% each). This is for two main purposes: automating the scalability of their websites and APIs in the background and building resilient and scalable event pipelines without having to maintain clusters. One in two respondents need serverless tools to perform these tasks. Other uses include automation of continuous integration and deployment processes (37%), assignment of functions to events issued by third-party SaaS providers, regardless of where these functions are. hosted (34%).
Always more integrated with Kubernetes

To adapt to the technological changes, Cloud Foundry had to manage the massive generalization of the use of the containers by the community of the developers. So since 2017, the Foundation has been evolving its tools and using Kubernetes natively to run its Cloud Foundry Application Runtime (CFAR). Cloud Foundry's historic container orchestrator, Diego, is replaced by the Eirini project, now supported by all certified vendors of the publisher. Another historical tool that has been adapted to the arrival of Kubernetes: BOSH Director. This container operator is now known as Quarks and just went into beta. Trial versions will be available to Cloud Foundry users. One last project, incubated so far in the Foundation, is Stratos . This Web interface should allow users and administrators to manage applications running in the Cloud Foundry cluster and perform cluster management tasks.

Project Quarks is an incubation effort within the Cloud Foundry Foundation that aggregates the Cloud Foundry Application Runtime into containers instead of virtual machines, enabling easy deployment to Kubernetes. (Credit: Nicolas Certes)

On the open source side, the Foundation continues to strengthen its ecosystem. And especially allow developers using Cloud Foundry to certify themselves. The Certified Developers program and the Cloud Foundry Certified Developer exam have been updated. The contents of the new exam take into account the latest features of the Cloud Foundry platform, and are available online. Training sessions and exams were also held on site at the convention.
A broader adoption of PaaS pushed by Pivotal

The general use of the Cloud Foundry platform tends to democratize. Current users use it more widely than before, at 46% in 2019, when they were 30% in 2018 and 23% in 2017 - at the Foundation's first event- to respond positively to this question. 43% also have more than 50 applications running on Cloud Foundry and 41% indicate that at least 100 of their developers use the platform. Not especially a surprise knowing that Pivotal mainly addresses the major accounts of the Fortune 500 and Global 2000. The average time of development of an application is estimated at less than three weeks with Cloud Foundry, according to 77% of respondents to the study. 39% of them even say that they can deploy an application in one day. Without specifying the complexity of this last ...