Cloud Foundry Community Advisory Board Kicks Off (with participation from ActiveState, IBM, Intel, Pivotal, and others)
by Jeff Hobbs

Jeff Hobbs, October 30, 2013

Community Advisory BoardHistory was made in the Cloud Foundry community this morning and ActiveState is proud to have been part of it. We’ve been looking forward to this ever since there were first whispers of a Cloud Foundry Community Advisory Board (CAB). In case you missed it, today was the first public CAB conference call with 52 people representing organizations from around the world.

The high level mission of the CAB is "to foster a healthy, vibrant, collaborative and innovative community and ecosystem around the Cloud Foundry platform and open source project." The CAB members list on that page is currently being migrated and revised, along with the entire page. Chris Ferris from IBM started today's meeting by having each member introduce themselves. In order of introduction, we are:

  • Chris Ferris at IBM
  • James Watters at Pivotal
  • Colin Humphreys at Cloud Credo
  • Catherine Spence at Intel
  • Dr. Nic Williams at Stark & Wayne
  • Jeff Hobbs at ActiveState
  • Adrian Coyle at Pivotal
  • Joshua McKenty at Piston Cloud
  • Jonathan King at Savvis (not present)
Every CAB member and participant has their own reasons for being interested in Cloud Foundry and wanting to help steer its direction. The recording of the meeting will be posted later so you can hear it all, but I wanted to call out a couple of early and insightful comments:
  • Dr. Nic: "There should be one PaaS, it should be this one, and it will take over the universe."
  • Joshua McKenty, a member of the OpenStack board of directors, talked about looking forward to seeing how the Cloud Foundry CAB evolves compared to OpenStack.

ActiveState's interest in the CAB should be obvious; Stackato is built on top of various open source projects, including Cloud Foundry. Therefore, we have a vested interest in the long and short term Cloud Foundry roadmap. This interest is not just philosophical—we have been very successful with Stackato in the 20 months since it launched and have a long list of Fortune 500 (and a few startup) customers as well as a key OEM partner in HP (yes, that's Stackato).

Some of our customers care more than others about Stackato's "Cloud Foundry compatibility", but they all rely on Stackato to solve key problems in their organizations such as providing a technical bridge between their Development and IT departments. It is imperative that we continue to add new capabilities to Stackato that our customers and the market needs; at the same time we are committed to the Cloud Foundry ecosystem as long as it remains open.

We love Cloud Foundry's architecture and think it's the best PaaS platform available, but have been concerned in the past about its lack of true openness. I spoke about this at the PlatformCF conference and mentioned how excited we were that Cloud Foundry was moving toward a more open governance model. Spinning Cloud Foundry out of VMware as part of Pivotal (with its associated move to GitHub and greater willingness to collaborate with the community), the PlatformCF conference, and now the CAB are all very healthy steps in that direction. We look forward to seeing it continue.

Look for an announcement from us in the very near future about features in Stackato v3.0, including extensive revisions based on Cloud Foundry v2. The general architecture remains the same, but improvements have been made to every component. We've differentiated from Cloud Foundry v2 on certain individual components, including some new elements related to our Appsecute acquisition, and the use of Docker for containerization (something that certain competing platforms are just writing press releases about). But I digress; you'll have to wait for our announcement for further details on that and the other changes in Stackato v3.0, which is currently being tested by some of our customers.

Back to this morning's CAB call... 52 participants found general agreement on topics such as when to hold the next PlatformCF conference, what to use the website for, how to use (and what to name) the various Cloud Foundry mailing lists, and how to incubate new externally contributed projects that are under consideration for the top-level Cloud Foundry project. It was truly an exciting first step for the future of what is inarguably the leading PaaS on the market today. The discussions are all public so join in if you're interested; I'll post on various topics here occasionally as well.

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Jeff Hobbs is our CTO & VP, Engineering and oversees all ActiveState product development including our cloud solutions. Though he’s responsible for leading and fostering our talented development team, Jeff is a coder at heart! He is passionate about technologies that just work, making the lives of developers easier. His current obsession is making Stackato the best private PaaS platform for developers: using any language, any infrastructure, and leveraging open source - so that applications just deploy and scale in any cloud.