ARCHITECHT Daily: Microsoft joins Cloud Foundry, and Cloud Foundry embraces Kubernetes

Perhaps because it's several years old now and is intrinsically connected (via Pivotal) with the behe
ARCHITECHT
ARCHITECHT Daily: Microsoft joins Cloud Foundry, and Cloud Foundry embraces Kubernetes
By ARCHITECHT • Issue #95
Perhaps because it’s several years old now and is intrinsically connected (via Pivotal) with the behemoth that is Dell Technologies, Cloud Foundry often gets overlooked in discussions about containers and cloud-native computing. That’s probably a mistake. Cloud Foundry is not as new and sexy as Kubernetes, but as far as “cloud-native” technologies go, it’s everywhere. It’s also running production workloads, which is an even bigger deal.
A few months ago, I ran a Q&A with Pivotal CEO Rob Mee, who explained how well his company is doing by essentially riding its proprietary Cloud Foundry distribution into the Fortune 500. In February, the open source Cloud Foundry Foundation issued a press release claiming the following:
“Cloud Foundry today powers cloud initiatives at public companies alone with a combined market capitalization greater than $3.2 trillion.

”… Cloud Foundry and Cloud Foundry-based solutions are now the platform of choice for an ever-growing list of leaders in financial services, IoT, government, automotive and telcos, including Allianz, Comcast, Fidelity, Ford, Google, IBM, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and many others.“
Some of those are no doubt paying Pivotal customers, but I think it’s safe to assume there’s a reasonable amount of open source Cloud Foundry out there, as well.
This is the kind of adoption and maturity that gets people paying attention, especially CIOs just getting ready to make their big cloud moves. It’s why, on Tuesday, Microsoft announced it is joining Cloud Foundry as a Gold member, and why Google did the same back in March. 
If you’re trying to win workloads, and distinguish yourself, from Amazon Web Services, embracing popular open source platforms is a good way to do it. Sure, you might prefer everyone to run all your proprietary services and watch those margins swell, but a customer is a customer when you’re competing against a seemingly unstoppable force like AWS.
Will Cloud Foundry still be a major strategic advantage 5 years from now? Who knows. Microsoft and Google are both betting pretty big on Kubernetes as being the platform of the future (the Docker and the Mesos communities might still make some noise, too), and even Pivotal acknowledges that customers are asking about Kubernetes for certain workloads. This, according to Mee, was an impetus for Pivotal and Google to create Kubo—an integration that allows Cloud Foundry’s BOSH to manage Kubernetes services.
On Tuesday, Kubo became a project under the Cloud Foundry Foundation banner, which means it will have the resources of the community behind it.
There are many ways this all could play out from an integration perspective, as well as from a competitive one. Acquisitions could happen. Cloud Foundry could wrap its platform tooling more tightly around Kubernetes. But the moral of the story is we probably should all pay more attention to Cloud Foundry. 

Sponsor: Cloudera
Artificial intelligence
If you want to talk about any sort of competition or tension between China and the United States in AI, this is where it will happen—as part of a national security discussion rather than a consumer discussion.
Speaking of that whole U.S.-China AI competition (which I weighed in on last month), here are two people with some real insight explaining why it’s not as easy as declaring a winner. 
www.wsj.com  •  Share
It has some good investors and, well, autonomous cars is about the frothiest space around right now—including for computer vision startups. 
aeye.ai  •  Share
Oh, yeah, Apple is working on autonomous cars, too. I sense a lot of M&A and a lot of heartbreak as the mega companies ratchet up their efforts even further.
CognitiveScale is targeting enterprise applications in specific industries, including, apparently, insurance. The company used to be a pretty tight Watson partner, but I’m not sure if that’s still the case.
You might remember when Google’s Jigsaw division released this moderation technology earlier this year, and people immediately got to work trying to stump it. Well, NYT is rolling it out, and explains here how it works.
I didn’t realize the new Echo video devices are powered by Intel Atom chips. Analysts now predict Echo could drive $10 billion in revenue by 2020, which could be great for Intel’s quest to stay relative in AI (unless, of course, Amazon decides to start building its own AI chips at some point).
I’m not wholly convinced by this argument, although it’s grounded in technological truth. Talking about marginal improvements from AI doesn’t really move the needle.
I would argue this is one of the holy grails of AI if it can be applied in real-world settings. Especially in consumer settings, easy, effective training will go a long way toward happy customers. Here’s the OpenAI blog post, too.
And they’re coming out of Canada’s Creative Destruction Lab incubator program. Assuming there’s commercial viability, the interplay and competition between quantum-based and deep-learning-based approaches will be interesting to watch.
eBay has some great data for this, and clear business reasons to do it. Naturally, it’s using deep learning 
arxiv.org  •  Share
This one, from Georgia Tech, is a robot that plays the marimbas. I still don’t think deep-learning-powered pattern recognition constitutes creativity, but there’s commercial value in automated music composition.
I shared something on this earlier, but I think it’s a cool competition. So here’s a deeper dive on it, including quotes from some AI experts.
Sponsor: DigitalOcean
Cloud and infrastructure
This post does a good job explaining that enterprise IT, and servers specifically, is a huge and shifting market. But it’s also shrinking and hugely dispersed. Consumer goods is a much better racket if you can make it work.
If you want more details on the size and scope of this mega data center deal, this post has lots of good info. 
Speaking of data centers … Here’s a reminder (a) that Equinix is still a major player in the world and (b) that Alibaba is a rising force in the cloud. It probably won’t conquer America, but there’s a great big world beyond.
I noted the strange ending of Intel’s otherwise celebratory birthday post for x86 a couple weeks ago. Here’s some more details on why the threat of a lawsuit was likely targeting Microsoft.
This writeup of Pure Storage’s latest array includes this quote from a Pure VP: “Machine learning is the big use case that’s driving flash adoption.” I would love to see more evidence of that, even anecdotally. 
It’s probably not going to host the next generation of cloud-native applications, but there’s a reason EMC paid over a billion for Virtustream in 2015: it’s a really good cloud home for SAP and other legacy stuff that’s not going away anytime soon.
fortune.com  •  Share
A sound, if not entirely solid, argument that settling for good enough, so to speak, would help enterprises be more flexible as their needs inevitably change. The problem, of course, is the blowback if something goes wrong.
redmonk.com  •  Share
All things data
IBM will resell the Hortonworks platform “as its official Hadoop product” and Hortonworks will resell some IBM products. A big deal depending on how you view IBM’s continued prospects, but it probably says more about Hortonworks’ evolving business model.
For some reason, I never get tired of hearing about Netflix’s data practices (probably because it’s so relatable—and reliable). This post covers everything from A/B testing to stream quality.
medium.com  •  Share
This is really interesting data and a really cool visualization tool. Now to use it to do something about that congestion.
I’m not sure there’s anything super new in here, but Zaharia provides some good insights into the Spark ecosystem and how Spark relates to / competes with other technologies.
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