SAP Cloud Platform and Open Source: All In

With the Cloud Foundry Summit Europe happening this week in Basel, a lot of hard work and preparation come to an end. As in the past years, SAP is a platinum sponsor of the event and has been taking an active part in shaping the educational content.

As a co-chair of the Cloud Foundry at Scale track, I’ve been personally involved in selecting the best (reads: most relevant) content for the community, together with Julian Fischer from anynines.  I’m thrilled that we have been able to compile a track full of topics addressing how-to take Cloud Foundry in the enterprise to the next level.

Browsing through all the proposals submitted for the track, it was obvious once again how active SAP has been in contributing to Cloud Foundry since we helped found the CF Foundation in 2014. As such, I would like to take the opportunity to shed some light on the most prominent open-source projects SAP is leading or contributing to.

SAP is leading or contributing to a number of prominent open-source projects

In general, we have come a long way since our first commit in 2014; today we have a sizeable number of contributors (currently 68 and counting) who are actively engaged in a broad range of Cloud Foundry projects (both Core and Extensions). Many of these colleagues are full-time committers who spend the majority of their time working on Cloud Foundry open-source projects — working on features, fixing issues raised by the community and so on. As full-time committers, they are not only contributing code but they are also reviewing pull requests filed by other community members towards the repositories they are responsible for.

Now, let’s have a closer look at the individual projects.

BOSH

Toward the end of 2015, SAP took over the responsibility for driving the BOSH OpenStack CPI, the interface between Cloud Foundry’s lifecycle management tool called BOSH and the OpenStack Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) layer. Since then, we have opened the first European Continental Cloud Foundry Dojo centred around this project and the team has grown significantly with additional colleagues from SUSE joining the effort. We are currently in the process of on-boarding new team members.

Beyond the main deliverables of the OpenStack CPI project, the team also develops and maintains the cf-openstack-validator tool, which answers the question Is my OpenStack installation ready for running Cloud Foundry? Furthermore, the team has now evolved into a “full BOSH” team, taking over tasks that go beyond the BOSH OpenStack CPI and encompass the core of the BOSH technology itself.

Application Runtime and Extensions

In the area of Cloud Foundry Extensions PMC, SAP is now heading efforts around the project Abacus, Cloud Foundry’s usage metering and aggregation service, originally initiated by IBM. Here also, we have a team from SAP contributing full-time to the Cloud Foundry open-source codebase, and we recently delivered the 1.0 version of Abacus.

In Cloud Foundry Runtime PMC, we have full-time contributors to Diego, Cloud Foundry’s elastic runtime, collaborating with Pivotal’s Diego team in London.

Service Fabrik

SAP is leading the Service Fabrik (with a ‘k’ as in the German word for ‘factory’) project, which is SAP’s implementation of the Cloud Foundry Service Broker API. As you may know, the Cloud Foundry Service Broker API is evolving into the Open Service Broker API aimed to become the industry standard for services going beyond the Cloud Foundry community. SAP is also contributing to the Open Service Broker API specification.

Service Fabrik is productively used in SAP Cloud Platform for provisioning and managing life cycle of Redis, RabbitMQ, MongoDB, and Postgres services. Of course, the development of Service Fabrik is carried out publicly with full transparency to the open-source community.

Enterprise-Readiness Features

Another Cloud Foundry project SAP is driving while using the codebase productively inside SAP Cloud Platform is our IPSec BOSH release, which allows to encrypt network communications within the Cloud Foundry platform on the operating system level.

SAP is also a major contributor to the App AutoScaler project, an Extensions PMC project in collaboration with IBM, as well as the App AutoSleep project in collaboration with Orange. Both projects are concerning optimal scaling of Cloud Foundry application instances based on the experienced load. Autoscaler is already available as a BETA service on SAP Cloud Platform for developers and trial customers.

There are several other Cloud Foundry projects where SAP is actively engaged. We made contributions to the Cloud Foundry Java buildpack to enhance its capabilities based on SAP’s Java Memory Assistant. SAP is also contributing to the corresponding CLI plugin for the Cloud Foundry command line interface. Similarly, we are making contributions to the Cloud Foundry User Account and Authentication (UAA) project to address enterprise-grade security requirements. Lastly, we have also engineers maintaining the Cloud Foundry Admin UI project.

Just in time for Cloud Foundry Summit Basel, we have a significant new addition to the list of SAP-contributed Cloud Foundry projects: the Cloud Foundry Deploy Service also known within SAP by its application package archive format: Multi-Target Application Archive (MTA). In a nutshell, this project is aimed to provide a standard solution to package a typical composite Cloud Foundry-based enterprise application, comprising of polyglot application components along with their associated service instances, and manage the lifecycle of the overall application holistically through its different phases of development to testing to deployment in production.

Wrap Up

As you can see, SAP has not just committed to being a corporate sponsor of the Cloud Foundry Foundation (aka throwing money at the problem), but our engineers are deeply engaged in many technical projects and leading several of them – particularly the ones concerning enterprise-grade qualities. As such, I believe it’s certainly valid to claim that we are all in and walking the talk of providing an enterprise-grade cloud platform based on open-source and open standards.


 

So far, it’s been an interesting and rewarding experience to jointly work with the open-source community and we are committed to continue playing our part going forward. With containers and especially container orchestration emerging as the next big topic, the future will be interesting for sure and by recently joining the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), SAP is weighing in on this front as well.

With that, I wish all of you traveling to Basel safe travels. I’m looking forward to seeing you all shortly. For those who cannot make it this time, make sure to follow the event online and on social media.

I want to thank Savita, Sanjay, Dan, and Bernd for all their help and support in planning SAP’s participation in this year’s CF Summit in Europe. You rock! And of course, a big shout out to all my colleagues at SAP who are working hard day in and day out to make it real — you’re the ones who make it all happen. Kudos!

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