Pivotal Software Embraces Kubernetes

Pivotal Software today announced it is making available an instance of the runtime it relies on for its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment available in alpha on Kubernetes.

Onsi Fakhouri, senior vice president of cloud research and development at Pivotal, says the move is the first step toward eventually relying on Kubernetes to play a large role in the control plane within the PaaS environment, which is based on the open source Cloud Foundry project. Pivotal, as a member of the Cloud Foundry Foundation (CFF), already has access to Project Eirini, which enables the existing Diego container orchestration engine in Cloud Foundry to be replaced by Kubernetes. That effort is still in the alpha stage of development.

Those efforts complement several previous initiatives Pivotal has launched involving Kubernetes. Pivotal Spring Runtime makes it possible to deploy Java applications on Kubernetes, while the alpha version of Pivotal Service Mesh is designed to make it easier to integrate microservices.

Pivotal also announced Pivotal Build Service to automate the building of container images and promised an alpha version of RabbitMQ for Kubernetes would be available soon. Previously, the company has worked with sister company VMware to create a curated version of Kubernetes, dubbed Pivotal Container Service (PKS), optimized for VMware environments.

Fakhouri says Pivotal is steadily working toward combining the best attributes of Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes. While Kubernetes is gaining traction as a platform for integrating compute and storage, the development environments available on the platform are not as rich as what is provided on Cloud Foundry. By replacing the lower-level elements of Cloud Foundry, not only will more applications be deployed on Kubernetes but also the consumption of IT infrastructure resources will be more efficient. The goal is to make the Cloud Foundry platform both more customizable and flexible as organizations continue to build and deploy a wide range of classes of applications, says Fakhouri.

Pivotal and other IT vendors that have adopted Kubernetes, however, are in a race to become the dominant provider of application development frameworks for Kubernetes against rivals such as Red Hat. Pivotal is betting that the sophistication of a Cloud Foundry PaaS capable of running everything from traditional 12-factor applications to containerized applications will keep enterprise IT organizations loyal to the venerable platform.

In a similar vein, Pivotal is betting that those enterprises will prefer to rely on a PKS instance of Kubernetes that is integrated with the same management framework they rely on today to manage their VMware environments.

It’s hard to say at this point which approach to modernizing IT environments will carry the day. In some cases, enterprise IT organizations are even likely to deploy multiple frameworks running on different platforms side by side simply because there is not enough political will to standardize on a single platform. Whatever the approach, however, the one point of agreement among all the parties involved is that application development and deployment within the enterprise is now ripe for change.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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