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I, For One, Welcome Our New Cloud Foundry Overlords
by Brent Smithurst

Brent Smithurst, February 25, 2014

You may have already heard yesterday's announcement that Cloud Foundry is establishing its own independent governing foundation. It was certainly covered extensively in the press (by Ben Kepes, Barb Darrow, and many others). Paul Maritz even went so far as to create a Twitter account just prior to announcing it! Of course, ActiveState strongly supports this new governance model, and we issued our own press release shortly after Pivotal's.

As our CEO, Bart Copeland, said in the Pivotal press release, "Cloud Foundry is already arguably the de facto open PaaS standard and we are extremely excited that this new Cloud Foundry foundation will be governing the project moving forward. ActiveState has had great success with Stackato (based on Cloud Foundry) and looks forward to contributing along with the other partners to help ensure that Cloud Foundry remains the open PaaS standard in the future."

Rather than re-hash all of the other articles and press releases, I want to give a slightly more in-depth perspective on how we feel about this and how it affects Stackato moving forward. 

First, having so many huge companies on board gives Cloud Foundry legitimacy as the de facto open-source Platform as a Service standard. As a vendor, I'd hate to be backing a purely proprietary PaaS, or one not based on Cloud Foundry right now. As a customer, I'd certainly choose a Cloud Foundry-based PaaS knowing that it undoubtedly has a long and bright future ahead of it. If I had already chosen a non-Cloud Foundry-based PaaS, I'd be reconsidering that choice in earnest right now.

At the PlatformCF conference in September, there was a call for broader and more open governance of Cloud Foundry. It's great to see that feedback, driven by companies actually using Cloud Foundry, acted on. Ever since Pivotal spun out of VMware (and EMC), they've said their goal was to become much more open. Things really started to improve with the formation of the Cloud Foundry Community Advisory Board (CAB) in October. The new foundation takes us to the next level by providing an opportunity for members to help mold the actual governance model.

The days of us talking negatively about Cloud Foundry's governance model are long gone. In case there's any doubt out there, our support of this foundation should put those doubts to rest. There is now a transparent framework for "co-opetition". Participating in an open source project with a single sponsor is like walking a tightrope. With a consortium of larger organizations, that tightrope becomes a platform. James Watters and his team at Pivotal have done a great job building a strong ecosystem around Cloud Foundry. The foundation is crucial for all of the partners to cultivate their particular market niches, making the long tail of Cloud Foundry longer.
 
For the PaaS industry as a whole, this should kill any silly "PaaS is dead" talk for good. I'm 100% confident that all the organizations involved did their own due diligence to ensure the investment of time and money would be worth it. Therefore, if you believe a pundit who says, "PaaS is dead", you are giving more weight to that pundit's opinion than to the opinion of ActiveState, CenturyLink, EMC, HP, Intel, Pivotal, RackSpace, SAP, and VMware (not to mention all the large organizations already using PaaS today).
 
We'd like to welcome the new partners aboard! We look forward to working with you, the pre-existing partners, and the community (the "new overlords") to ensure that Cloud Foundry continues to dominate long into the future.

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Brent is ActiveState's Vice President of Product Management & Marketing. He's interested in helping enterprise IT departments and developers work together more effectively. Prior to joining ActiveState, he held leadership positions in software product management, IT, operations, and marketing for organizations in security/computer management, motion picture/television, food services, and hardware retail/online industries. But you already knew that after checking him out on LinkedIn, didn't you?