When companies tap into the benefits of cloud computing, a lot of complexity comes along for the ride. Pivotal’s latest version of Cloud Foundry hopes to reduce some of that complexity by borrowing some technology from two key open-source projects built to handle the rise of microservices.
Cloud Foundry 2.5 will become generally available on Tuesday, and it comes with several new features that will make it easier to upgrade software development platforms and use Pivotal’s flagship product with Microsoft Windows Server. One of the most interesting features is the introduction of a “routing tier” based around components from Envoy and Istio, two of the more buzzed-about open-source projects of the last year or so.
Istio is a service mesh, a broader version of Envoy created by Lyft, Google and IBM that was designed to help route traffic between microservices in applications. Microservices allow developers to break their applications down into smaller, independent pieces, which increases application reliability and flexibility but generates a ton of traffic as all those services try to talk to each other and the world outside the application.
Cloud Foundry 2.5’s routing tier is designed to “(give) developers more control of how to split traffic when rolling out new versions of an app,” wrote Jared Ruckle, director of product marketing at Pivotal, in a blog post scheduled to go live Tuesday.
The cited example: if you’re rolling out a new version of your application to the unwashed masses, you probably don’t want to direct all incoming traffic to that new version until you’re sure it is working reliably, and the routing tier lets you assign a certain percentage of traffic to the new version. Sophisticated web companies have been doing this for years, but Pivotal’s customers tend to be companies newer to the nimble touches required by modern software development.
The new version will also make it easier to update development platforms built around Cloud Foundry with new features or bug fixes, and it will automate a lot of the process required by companies that want to upgrade their operating systems to Windows Server 2019, according to the post.
Pivotal went public last year on the back of its platform-as-a-service software, which is also available in an open-source version maintained by the Cloud Foundry Foundation. Cloud Foundry makes it easier for companies that need to operate hybrid cloud setups to use some of the newer cloud-native technologies like Docker containers without having to start from scratch.