Moment of Truth for Pivotal at Hand

After months of hype, the Pivotal One platform is available to developers and firms that build cloud-computing applications.

Pivotal bills Pivotal One as a “comprehensive” set of application and data services running atop its enterprise version of Cloud Foundry, the open-source Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering. In theory, that software will allow developers to build and scale applications on cloud infrastructure that can be expanded and upgraded at considerable speed. It will also unite disparate data sources, frameworks, and features—such as Apache Hadoop and visualization tools—onto a common platform.

The enterprise version of Cloud Foundry, known as Pivotal CF, includes Pivotal CF Elastic Runtime Service (a scalable runtime environment) and Pivotal CF Operations Manager (billed as a turnkey enterprise PaaS management platform with IaaS integration). Services offered via Pivotal One include Pivotal AX Service (a self-service analytics package), Pivotal RabbitMQ Service (a message broker for applications running atop Pivotal CF), and MySQL Service (for provisioning multi-tenant, single-instance MySQL databases).

The Next Big PaaS Contender?

In December 2012, EMC and its VMware subsidiary announced plans to group their collective cloud and data-analytics applications into a separate entity, then known as the Pivotal Initiative, headed by EMC chief strategy officer Paul Maritz. From the very beginning, the scope of the project was ambitious, absorbing employees and resources from EMC’s Greenplum and Pivotal Labs organizations, along with VMware’s vFabric, Cloud Foundry and Cetas units.

(As detailed in this Wired piece, Pivotal’s actual offices offer some unique twists on the typical software-development environment, including a dedication to pair programming.)

For the entirety of its existence, Pivotal has broadcasted its intention of becoming a major player in the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) segment. Cloud Foundry’s open-source framework supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, RabbitMQ (an enterprise messaging system), MongoDB, and a variety of custom services; it also backs applications written in JVM-based languages such as Java and Groovy. In a bid to expand its customer base, Pivotal collaborated with firms such as IBM on deploying other frameworks and languages to the Cloud Foundry platform, in a bid to make the technology underlying its portfolio more ubiquitous. (In the case of IBM, one of those projects was a preview version of the WebSphere Application Server Liberty Core, a lightweight version of the WebSphere Application Server).

In addition to all those developments, Pivotal has spent the past year touting Pivotal One’s arrival, making sure to mention its development and fourth-quarter launch at every opportunity. Now that it’s availability is imminent, it’s time to see whether Pivotal can rise to its creators’ ambitions and truly redefine the cloud-infrastructure space.

 

Image: Everything possible/Shutterstock.com

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