Containers and serverless computing are two of the most prevalent movements in modern software development, so it’s not a huge surprise that Pivotal would add support for both into the newest release of Pivotal Cloud Foundry, unveiled Tuesday.
Pivotal Cloud Foundry is a platform-as-a-service cloud software package that helps companies deploy their own software on their own hardware or any cloud provider without having to manage any of the underlying hardware infrastructure. It’s a commercial version of the Cloud Foundry open-source project that was originally developed by Pivotal’s sister company, VMware, and which it continues to sell as part of the Dell Technologies conglomerate.
The new version introduces a functions-as-a-service component, which we’ve all more or less agreed to summarize as “serverless” computing. There are plenty of servers in serverless computing, a concept in which software development is rethought in terms of events, triggers, and functions that link the two without needing to understand the underlying hardware. Backers are intrigued by the potential for widespread lightweight computing that can be billed by the second, and it’s a strong candidate for edge computing as well.
Pivotal Function Service won’t arrive for around six months, but it promises to allow developers to build applications within Cloud Foundry based around functions that automatically react to external events based on pre-determined criteria. “>Serverless is being eyed as an important breakthrough in software development by all the major cloud infrastructure players, so it stands to reason that Pivotal would want to offer its developers this type of service.
The new Pivotal Cloud Foundry also comes with a managed container service jointly developed by VMware, Pivotal, and Google. It’s designed to give Cloud Foundry users the ability to run Kubernetes — the white-hot container-orchestration software originally developed by Google — across their on-premises infrastructure as well as across cloud vendors. “It is one of the only products with constant compatibility to Google Container Engine (GKE),” Pivotal said in a press release, hinting just a bit at which cloud it would like you to select for this new service.
(Editor’s note: This post was updated to clarify the relationship between Pivotal and VMware.)