Building Internal Enterprise Clouds with Cloud Foundry – Panel Discussion Summary from PlatformCF

I am at the SpringOne2GX conference in California.

Earlier today, I had a chance to attend the second day of the Platform CF conference that was available to attendees.

There was a panel around building internal enterprise clouds with Cloud Foundry with GE, Intel and Warner Music. It was very interesting to me and I thought I would share some notes from this panel discussion.

The panel was composed of:

  • Chetan Gadgil, GE Software & Analytics
  • Dave McCrory, Warner Music Group
  • Catherine Spence, Intel

Here are some interesting ideas from the discussion.

Details on their internal Infrastructures

Intel had their own internal program called Open Cloud. Their focus started with OpenStack and Infrastructure as a service. Their internal goal was to be able to land an application in less than a day, and they say Cloud Foundry really helped in this process.

Warner described their approach to getting started with Cloud Foundry by starting with something new, and then trying to migrate all the older existing projects into the new area.

GE expanded on this by exhorting the fact that Cloud Foundry comes with a pre-provisioned IT infrastructure. Their projects touch on several areas: Aviation, Health Care, Oil And Gas. Many of these projects have complex business and requirements ( such as PCI compliance ). By using Cloud Foundry, they are able to standarize their application, network and deployment patterns.

Lessons

Intel got their developers on board by hosting internal hackathons where their programmers could build whatever they wanted but needed to deploy them on their internal cloud. It was a good way to get them to buy in and get familiar with the tool. It seems to be very successful for them.

Warner stated that they looked at some components of Cloud Foundry and asked “Do we need this today?”. He mentioned that they didn’t even have caching enabled because there was no need for it yet. Don’t introduce complexity without a purpose.

GE explained that 70% of their applications are based on newer Big Data models and 30% of their apps were still using older relational models. Each industry that they work with will have a different set of requirements and be driven by regulations. Some applications might be B2B services. Some might need enterprise to enterprise connectivity. Using private clouds allows them customize for these different cases.

Cloud Foundry as the Linux of Cloud

Intel uses OpenStack
GE is on Amazon
Warner uses Open / Public Clouds

Cloud Foundry allows you to be infrastructure agnostic. You could have hybrid clouds with different network environments. It’s very flexible.

GE mentioned that it took them one week to implement CF and was productive by the second week.

Challenges

Warner did mention that a lot of Cloud Infrastructures are not able to handle the amount of API calls that BOSH makes.

Intel mentions that since their teams are allowed to use what they want, it is difficult to make standard application packages that work for every group. But this is less of an issue with Build packs from 2.0. Their aim is to be able to have APIs at every layer to provide service orchestration and create automatic catalogs to constraint who talks to each service.

GE brings up .NET support, which is used by a lot of health care providers. This seems to be difficult to do well in Cloud Foundry. They also have their own database that is fairly successful but only runs on Windows. This lead to a few heckles from the two competing .NET on Cloud Foundry companies in the audience.

Intel also brings up that it is difficult to do end-to-end identity in Cloud Foundry. Specially when people are bringing their different devices.

One thought on “Building Internal Enterprise Clouds with Cloud Foundry – Panel Discussion Summary from PlatformCF

  1. Pingback: SpringOne 2GX 2013 Summary | Tomás Lin's Programming Brain Dump

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