Pivotal's PaaS Now Comes With Free Managed AWS Infrastructure
Paul Maritz, CEO of Pivotal, speaking at an event at the company’s San Francisco offices in February 2015 (Photo: Yevgeniy Sverdlik)

Pivotal's PaaS Now Comes With Free Managed AWS Infrastructure

Users can now deploy Cloud Foundry apps natively in Amazon's cloud

In a bid to meet growing hybrid cloud needs, Pivotal has added an enterprise-supported version of its hosted cloud solution, Pivotal Web Services. It includes free, managed Amazon Web Services cloud infrastructure with the purchase of a Pivotal Cloud Foundry license.

Previously available only in beta without support, the Pivotal Cloud Foundry PaaS software now includes a new, one-click AWS integration feature, enabling users to natively deploy Cloud Foundry applications on AWS infrastructure.

Cloud Foundry is available as open source, so the 1-click AWS deployment with support in Pivotal Web Services provides enticement for the paid version offered by Pivotal.

Pivotal wants to make it possible for customers to deploy Cloud Foundry at scale in whatever setup they want with easy portability. Scalable virtual appliance support is available for VMware vSphere, OpenStack and AWS.

The added support makes the AWS-hosted version suitable for more than small projects and means projects can move freely between other types of deployment. The move is to appease two different groups with different needs: Line of Business and IT.

“When enterprises want to build modern, next-generation applications they turn to Platform as a Service (PaaS), but once they successfully built these applications they need to deploy them," said Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst, Constellation Research. "Easier deployment options to multiple cloud vehicles like public, hybrid, and private cloud are sought after and valued highly by enterprises who look for PaaS vendors to make not only the creation, but also the operation of their new next-generation applications easier and more efficient.”

The company predominantly ships software to customers who in turn run it as a cloud service. The enterprise-hosted version in Pivotal Web Services is a complement to and not a replacement for these customers. By filling out the types of ways to deploy Cloud Foundry, it’s making the PaaS suitable for more types of applications and purposes. Specifically, the enterprise-hosted version is good for line of business projects because it’s a quick way to build something without the wait.

The hosted version was often used for small business projects. Now more things can be created there and then be brought back easily to private PaaS when needed, or vice versa.

“A lot of times, the line of business needs were under pressure to move fast and were going to Amazon themselves,” said James Watters, vice president of Pivotal’s Cloud Platform Group. “Now with Cloud Foundry, we cover the spectrum, between hosted, virtual appliance, dedicated and on-prem.”

The profit in the PaaS market, said Watters, lies in private data centers, but the company recognizes that it needs to enable all types of setups.

“We’re filling out the portfolio in terms of multi-cloud and hybrid,” said Watters. “There’s more and more pressure to offer the hosted edition. It helps with adoption, mobile, and outward facing apps. You had to find one platform that both development and operations groups could agree on. Cloud native apps really benefit from a platform approach. That platform allows you to grow and scale as opposed to automation and ad-hoc. We want to be like Starbucks—on every corner. No inhibitors.”

Watters said that there’s not a lot of workload overhead in running large Cloud Foundry on Amazon. "We can slice off 512mb very efficiently, and it doesn’t cost very much per year."

Only a couple of operations people control all of Amazon because of its simple scalability.

Pivotal’s Amazon Machine Image (AMI) accesses the users’ Amazon credentials and builds itself out to whatever scale is desired. The AMI automates directly against the APIs and updates itself, something that Watters said that no other AMI currently does.

Complete hybrid cloud support lets operators migrate Cloud Foundry applications freely between public and private clouds, regardless of their underlying infrastructure.

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