Cloud Foundry, which bills itself as the cross-cloud platform as a service (PaaS) of the future, now runs on Amazon Web Services and on OpenStack. Next up? Apparently the Google Cloud Platform. Altoros, a third-party service partner, is working on a Cloud Provider Interface (CPI) to ease integration between the PaaS and Google’s IaaS.
To be clear, there’s not really a technical reason that the open-source PaaS can’t run on Google Cloud now, but for truly scalable deployment a CPI is needed, according to Cloud Foundry. That interface intermediates between BOSH, the Cloud Foundry’s deployment installer and operations manager for Cloud Foundry, and the target cloud’s APIs.
As Cloud Foundry’s James Watters put it via email: “You could install parts of cf by hand anywhere on VMs without bosh yes, but bosh is a critical part of cf actually… for real use a CPI is very required.” Andy Piper, Cloud Foundry advocate for Pivotal, put in a stronger endorsement of BOSH: “You could script a bunch of stuff across VMs, but it would be painful-to-impossible to run without BOSH overall.”
Update: Altoros is busy. CEO Renat Khasanshyn said the alpha version of the Google CPI will be out in about 4 weeks and the company is also working with Microsoft on code that will “allow production-grade deployments of Cloud Foundry on Windows Azure.”
Just who writes a given CPI depends on the situation. In the case of OpenStack, it was Piston Cloud, (see disclosure) an OpenStack player working with Cloud Foundry. For Amazon Web Services, Cloud Foundry did the heavy lifting.
Google Cloud is the great looming question mark in the public cloud space. Everyone is watching what happens there because Google clearly knows about massive scale but actual business use of its cloud seems sketchy at best. But the potential is big enough that RightScale, the multicloud management provider, supports Google along with AWS, Rackspace and other clouds. And Cloudscaling sees enough promise that it’s supporting the Google APIs as well as Amazon’s.
It was unclear whether Google itself is helping with Altoros and/or Cloud Foundry with this integration work. A Google spokeswoman had no comment for this story.
Disclosure: Piston is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of Gigaom. Om Malik, founder of Gigaom, is also a venture partner at True.
Note: This story was updated at 6:13 p.m. PDT with comments from the Altoros CEO.