Cloud Foundry reveals growth and global scale in first user survey

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The nonprofit announced a new ecosystem marketplace and improvement in containers, while executive director Abby Kearns tells Computerworld UK that the organisation has invested in 'harderning' its security

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Open source cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS) nonprofit Cloud Foundry kicked off its summit today, with a raft of announcements at the Basel, Switzerland showcase, including progress on containers and a marketplace for Cloud Foundry distributions from vendors such as IBM, Atos and Huawei.

The Foundation announced an update to its Kubo project - now called the Cloud Foundry Container Runtime - which is now the "default" approach on the platform for deploying containers using Kubernetes and BOSH.

A user survey also stressed the universality of The Cloud Foundry project, with roughly half of its users in North America and the rest elsewhere, plus the speediness of development cycles which the group points out go from "weeks or months to hours and days".

Just under half of respondents at 46 percent said that application releases take less than a week once they have the Cloud Foundry Application Runtime in use.

In a press roundtable, Cloud Foundry executive director Abby Kearns said that along with a swell in growth – as noted in a recent user survey, nearly half of application runtime users are large enterprises (46 percent) with $1 billion+ in annual revenue – what the organisation wants to shout about to continue to attract adoption is awareness and innovation.

Kearns said that she was surprised to find that of all the users, only 46 percent were large enterprises, so smaller businesses and developers are flocking to Cloud Foundry as well.

"I'm always hoping for awareness – I'm biased, I think Cloud Foundry is the most exciting thing that's happening today," Kearns said. "I think the big takeaway is really if you look at the entire thread from the keynote stage, we have a tremendous amount of momentum but we also have a tremendous amount of velocity on the project."

"There's a huge opportunity to partner around interoperability. So momentum and innovation are really the big strong points."

Meanwhile, over in New York, Dell was betting big on a new end-to-end IoT suite that will really aim to make use of Pivotal Cloud Foundry and Pivotal Container Service for enterprise customers to develop their apps.

Read next: Everything you need to know about Dell Technologies' new IoT division

Kearns said that with regards to security, the Foundation has spent the last year "investing hardcore in security hardening".

"One of the things that's marvellous about Cloud Foundry is that it automates so much," she said. "If you go through the data breaches over the last several years what is one of the big chief concerns? It's the human interaction in all of that.

"The least human interaction and the least human reliance you have on deploying to the right container or configuring the right firewall, those are table stakes now but that's really what's killing us.

"The Equifax hack was Apache Struts. Failure to patch – that's a huge problem for any organisation. So when I think about the power of Cloud Foundry and even BOSH it's the ability to patch something during the day within hours, your entire deployment. By hand it's hard – you miss things. Our hope is that we're actually staving that off."

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