Pivotal wants to be the development platform that serves everyone, and today at their SpringOne Platform (S1P) developer conference in San Francisco, they announced a huge upgrade to their Pivotal Cloud Foundry platform (PCF) that includes support for serverless computing, containers and a new app store.
As James Watters, senior VP of strategy sees it, this is all part of a deliberate strategy by Pivotal to provide a complete developer experience. “One of the things we do pretty well is curate an enterprise experience for folks. What we are doing with this release is coming forward in a curative way — these are the cloud native interfaces you need,” he said.
That includes three main elements. For starters if you want to run containers using Kubernetes, the popular container orchestration tool, the company is making the Pivotal/Google/VMware Kubernetes container product announced in August generally available.
As I wrote at the time, describing the roles of the three companies: “Google brings Kubernetes to the table, the open-source container orchestration tool. Pivotal adds the Platform as a Service piece with Cloud Foundry and VMware adds a management layer to pull it all together.”
In addition, the company is offering a serverless product. Serverless computing enables developers to create applications that only access a server when they need one, usually when a specific event triggers the requirement. This saves companies from the cost of continually running a server when they only need it for the event triggers.
The base PCF platform also gets some love with more fundamental Windows Server and VMware NSX-T integration along with a new a new Healthwatch dashboard that provides insights into the health of application running on PCF.
Perhaps the biggest part of the announcement is the release of an app store they are calling the PCF marketplace. It’s designed to provide direct access to cloud services that PCF users can plug directly into the platform. It’s interesting that CoreOS introduced a similar service earlier today for the release of Tectonic 1.8.
Perhaps app stores are the new thing for container-focused platforms, but both companies see it in similar terms. It provides a way to use best of breed cloud services without getting locked into one proprietary public cloud stack and getting stuck with a single vendor for any particular service.
“One of the problems for big enterprises is moving to the public cloud and it’s hard to get started. With our new service catalog, they can connect to something like Google machine learning, and they are good to go,” Watters explained.
The new app store includes connectors for GitHub, Splunk, New Relic and hundreds of others, according to Pivotal
Pivotal is an odd duck in some ways. It’s an independent company that’s raised over $1.7 billion. Its last round in 2016 was for over $650 million. Yet it falls under the federation of companies that made up EMC, the company that Dell bought in 2016 for $67 billion. Other investors have included GE, Microsoft and Ford.