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IBM Makes Pivotal Deal for Cloud Foundry Innovation
Posted July 24, 2013
IBM Makes Pivotal Deal for Cloud Foundry Innovation
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By Jennifer LeClaire. Updated July 24, 2013 11:15AM

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IBM and Pivotal on Wednesday announced a development partnership to collaborate on The Cloud Foundry platform and open source project. The companies pledged to work toward establishing an open governance model for the community.

Cloud Foundry is an interoperable platform-as-a-service framework that gives users freedom of choice across cloud infrastructure and application programming models, and cloud applications. IBM said an open Cloud Foundry platform makes it possible to build, deploy and manage cloud applications in a more agile, more scalable manner.

Doubtless, there's an increasing appetite for cloud-based mobile, social and analytics applications from line-of-business executives. Big Blue argues that CIOs need a more open and vibrant cloud development platform, such as Cloud Foundry, to meet that demand and avoid vendor lock-in.

Vast Transformation Potential

"Cloud Foundry's potential to transform business is vast, and steps like the one taken today help open the ecosystem up for greater client innovation," said Daniel Sabbah, general manager of Next Generation Platforms at IBM. "IBM will incorporate Cloud Foundry into its open cloud architecture, and put its full support behind Cloud Foundry as an open and collaborative platform for cloud application development, as it has done historically for key technologies such as Linux and OpenStack."

For its part, Pivotal will establish a community advisory board of Cloud Foundry users and vendors -- including IBM -- to guide the community as outlined on the Cloud Foundry site. Pivotal will also continue to steward the Cloud Foundry brand and preserve the trademark from direct commercial use in product names.

"We believe that the Cloud Foundry platform has the potential to become an extraordinary asset that many players can leverage in an open way to enable a new generation of applications for the cloud," said Paul Maritz, CEO of Pivotal. "IBM's considerable investment in Cloud Foundry is already producing great results with application-centric cloud offerings such as making IBM WebSphere Liberty available on Cloud Foundry."

Pivotal for Pivotal

IBM and Pivotal are also collaborating on the technology that would allow programming languages or frameworks to be deployed on the Cloud Foundry platform. The companies pointed to early fruit of this collaboration: a preview version of WebSphere Application Server Liberty Core, IBM's lightweight version of the WebSphere Application Server.

WebSphere Application Server Liberty Core works to help clients respond to enterprise and market needs more quickly by making possible less complex, rapid development and deployment of web, mobile, social and analytic applications using fewer resources. With the capabilities of the WebSphere Application Server Liberty Core running on Cloud Foundry, IBM said developers benefit from the robustness of the WebSphere platform and the innovation of the emerging cloud architecture.

"The IBM-Pivotal announcement is a significant event that should boost the impact and influence of Cloud Foundry," Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, told us. "The agreement has much in common with previous IBM support of Linux and OpenStack which helped to validate those technologies among enterprise IT customers. The agreement is certainly a major win for Pivotal but significant long-term benefits should also accrue to businesses and other organizations that embrace the company's open cloud architecture."

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