Cloud Foundry Foundation Launches With Support From Over 40 Companies

OpenStack, one of the largest open-source enterprise projects around, made a bit of a splash last year. With Cloud Foundry, the Infrastructure-as-a-Service OpenStack project also has a counterpart in the Platform-as-a-Service world and that project is hoping that 2015 will be its break-through year. To get to this point, the more than 40 companies behind the project today announced the launch of the Cloud Foundry Foundation.

The platinum members behind the foundation include EMC, HP, IBM, Intel, Pivotal, SAP and VMware. The number of companies invested in the foundation has grown 40 percent over the last few months leading up to the launch and the number of contributors has increased 150 percent over the last year compared to the previous year, with code commits up 1,700 percent (though given how young the project still is, it’s worth taking those numbers with a grain of salt).

Not only does Cloud Foundry now has a high-powered foundation behind it, but it’s also getting help from the Linux Foundation, which today announced that Cloud Foundry is now a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project.

As Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin told me last week, his organization will help the project with operational expertise to run hackathons and meetups, as well as legal resources around intellectual property issues. It will also provide much of the infrastructure that it takes to run a big open source project like this.

Cloud Foundry grew out of the efforts of Pivotal Software, which also makes a commercial version of it available to its customers. One other thing Pivotal has brought to the project is the concept of the Cloud Foundry Dojo.

“One of the problems [with large open source projects] is that it’s hard to get developers into the project as quickly as they want to be,” Zemlin rightly noted (and that’s definitely the case in the Linux world). It can often take months (or years) before somebody is fully up to speed. The Dojo concept uses pair programming that matches an experienced developer with a novice. Thanks to this, it often only takes a few weeks before somebody is up and running and committing patches to Cloud Foundry. IBM and SAP have sent some of their developers through this program, for example.

“Every time we work on an open source project or create a foundation, we continue to learn as a company and as an industry about what it takes to create great open-source software and how to participate and work together in these communities,” IBMs VP of open standards Angel Diaz told me. “The Dojo is yet another evolution of the Maslow’s Hierarchy of how to be great open source contributors.” IBM uses Cloud Foundry as the basis for its Bluemix platform.

Pivotal’s senior vice president of strategy and corporate development Leo Spiegel also added that this project has allowed the company to move this methodology into the industry and accelerate the development of Cloud Foundry.

With today’s foundation launch, the organization is also launching a certification program to ensure consistency and compatibility across the different Cloud Foundry-branded products and to prevent fragmentation.