Alibaba Goes for Cloud Foundry Gold

The Chinese cloud giant is supporting Cloud Foundry on its infrastructure and joining its Foundation as a gold member.

Mitch Wagner, Executive Editor, Light Reading

April 18, 2018

3 Min Read
Alibaba Goes for Cloud Foundry Gold

Alibaba, the biggest cloud provider you don't spend a lot of time thinking about (but should), is deploying Cloud Foundry on its infrastructure, and joining the Cloud Foundry Foundation as a gold member.

Cloud Foundry is an open source platform designed to automate infrastructure provisioning and management and make workloads more portable across public and private clouds. By writing applications to Cloud Foundry APIs, developers can enhance application portability and minimize cloud lock-in. (See Google & Microsoft Tout Multi-Cloud, but Where's Amazon?)

Alibaba Cloud is the biggest cloud provider in China and among the three largest globally, according to a press release from the Cloud Foundry Foundation issued Wednesday. (See Cloud Foundry Now Available on Asia's Leading Cloud Provider Alibaba Cloud.)

(Jefferies ranks Alibaba fifth rather than third, but either way, Alibaba is really, really big.) (See Google & Alibaba Cloud Gaining Fast in Public Cloud – but AWS Still Rules.)

Figure 1: Alibaba at the Open Networking Summit in Los Angeles last month. Alibaba at the Open Networking Summit in Los Angeles last month.

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Alibaba Cloud provides elastic computing, object storage, relational database, big data analytics and artificial intelligence in "43 availability zones" -- or data center locations -- worldwide, the Cloud Foundry Foundation says.

Other Gold Cloud Foundry members include of Allianz, American Airlines, Ford, Google, Microsoft and Swisscom. Benefits of Gold membership include the authority to nominate a candidate for one of two designated Gold seats on the Cloud Foundry Board of Directors. Gold members also get first pick of donuts from the Cloud Foundry break room. (I made that last part up.)

Gold is the second-highest level Cloud Foundry membership. The highest level is Platinum, whose members include Cisco, Dell EMC, IBM, Pivotal, SAP, SUSE and VMware. And three of those members -- Dell EMC, Pivotal and VMware -- are owned or controlled by Dell Technologies (Nasdaq: DELL).

Cloud Foundry is important to Dell's strategy of providing enterprises with tools to build applications that run on private clouds -- on Dell hardware, of course -- that span to public clouds. Dell's Cloud Foundry arm, Pivotal , filed for an initial public offering last month. (See Dell CTO: Public Cloud Is 'Way More Expensive Than Buying From Us' and Pivotal & Dropbox: A Tale of 2 Cloud IPOs.)

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About the Author(s)

Mitch Wagner

Executive Editor, Light Reading

San Diego-based Mitch Wagner is many things. As well as being "our guy" on the West Coast (of the US, not Scotland, or anywhere else with indifferent meteorological conditions), he's a husband (to his wife), dissatisfied Democrat, American (so he could be President some day), nonobservant Jew, and science fiction fan. Not necessarily in that order.

He's also one half of a special duo, along with Minnie, who is the co-habitor of the West Coast Bureau and Light Reading's primary chewer of sticks, though she is not the only one on the team who regularly munches on bark.

Wagner, whose previous positions include Editor-in-Chief at Internet Evolution and Executive Editor at InformationWeek, will be responsible for tracking and reporting on developments in Silicon Valley and other US West Coast hotspots of communications technology innovation.

Beats: Software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), IP networking, and colored foods (such as 'green rice').

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