Google throws its weight behind open-source Cloud Foundry

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Google Inc. on Thursday threw its weight behind the open-source Cloud Foundry Foundation, the organization that heads up development of the open source cloud platform Cloud Foundry.

Google has signed on as a gold member of the foundation, joining companies such as EMC Corp., Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Co., IBM Corp., Pivotal Software Inc., SAP SE and VMware Inc. Cloud Foundry is an open-source Platform as a Service that offers developers a choice of clouds, development frameworks, and application services for building and running apps at scale on public and private clouds.

The platform bills itself as the industry-standard platform for developing cloud applications, and Google’s decision to back the project adds further weight to those claims.

“Our goal with Google Cloud Platform is to build an open cloud for all businesses and we see active participation with the open source community as an essential part of this mission,” said Brian Stevens, vice president of cloud platforms at Google. “We have been working on several CFF projects this year, including optimizing Cloud Foundry on GCP. We look forward to our continued work together to drive the development of open source cloud solutions for enterprises.”

As a full-fledged member of the project at last, Google said its aim is to encourage other companies to adopt open-source platforms such as Cloud Foundry, in order to help them realize the benefits of high quality, agile software delivery in the cloud. It’s also likely that Google, which is a distant third in cloud computing behind Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, views backing of Cloud Foundry as a way to distinguish itself as a more inclusive cloud provider.

Google already had a number of connections to Cloud Foundry, however. Onetime Googler Derek Collison, now founder and chief executive of Apcera, whose software helps companies run applications both in their data centers and multiple cloud platforms, designed Cloud Foundry while he was chief technology officer at VMware. And in November, Cloud Foundry Foundation Chief Executive Sam Ramji left to join Google, working under Diane Greene, the VMware cofounder who’s now executive vice president in charge of Google Cloud.

Moreover, Google has devoted a great deal of time and energy to the Cloud Foundry project, despite not being an official member of the foundation. In a blog post, Google’s Stevens revealed how Google worked alongside the CFF to develop the recent BOSH Google CPI release, which enables the deployment of Cloud Foundry on Google’s cloud. With Google’s backing of the project now official, we can expect to see the company increase its participation in the project as it moves forward.

“Google joining as a Gold Member is a huge step forward for what the Foundation wants to accomplish in 2017 and beyond,” said Abby Kearns, the foundation’s executive director. “Cloud Foundry and Google can better work together with the rest of our community to facilitate the transition to a multi-cloud infrastructure for businesses worldwide.”