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Pivotal says multi-cloud support and data services integration will help the company win broad enterprise buy-in

Pivotal says multi-cloud support and data services integration will help the company win broad enterprise buy-in

Following announcements made toward the end of spring, Pivotal, a subsidiary of storage giant EMC announced today that it will be rolling out enterprise-focused distributions of its cloud Foundry platform as a service this week. The company says its multi-cloud and data service-centric approach will be the key to winning broad enterprise support.

Pivotal was spun out from EMC and VMware in December 2012 to focus on innovating around application development and big data. It announced back in April that it was busy readying its commercial distribution of Cloud Foundry – Pivotal CF – and announced a series of partnerships (VMware, OpenStack) that would help broadly increase the appeal of its offering in enterprises.

Pivotal CF was designed to tap into a range of other data services (Pivotal One services). The company says it is integrated with Pivotal HD, which lets IT administrators link up applications to Hadoop nodes. Users can also provision MySQL databases on the platform using Pivotal’s MySQL Dev Service. It also supports RabbitMQ integration, the open source enterprise messaging system, and Pivotal spokespeople say more services are on the way.

“As we stated when we started the company, we set out to deliver a new platform for a new era. Today we are proud to introduce Pivotal One, comprised of Pivotal CF and the first set of Pivotal One services, which will empower businesses to create applications and deliver new features to customers at a velocity and scale previously only available to Internet giants,” Paul Maritz, chief executive officer of Pivotal said in a statement. “We are bringing this speed and scale to some of the most important companies in the world, each of which can now better use data and analytics to build applications and products that have a profound impact on our daily lives.”

Pivotal has long said that the goal of Cloud Foundry is to ensure developers don’t get locked-in to the infrastructure they develop these applications on top of. With Pivotal CF it has partnered with VMware and OpenStack to ensure applications developed with Cloud Foundry work in private and public cloud deployments, and (recognising AWS’s lead in the space) in Amazon’s public cloud, and it has hinted that support for more clouds is on the way (Windows Azure, Google).

But those are the same promises being made by companies like Tier 3 (among others), which are behind the CF-based PaaS IronFoundry, so it will be interesting to see whether the (Pivotal) service integration, big data focus and commercial support is enough to lure developers onto its own distribution.

“In any market, there is a fine balance to be reached between differentiating and using standards,” said Laurent Lachal, lead analyst in Ovum’s software group. “There is the potential for every Cloud Foundry distribution to be so different from one another that they will have very little in common, without getting the distributions to diverge too far at the core.”

Lachal explains that the Pivotal  itself has a number of bits and pieces from EMC and VMware that it has to bring together. But he says that because Pivotal was involved with Cloud Foundry from day one it is reasonable to expect the company has a good leg up on other companies standardising on the Cloud Foundry platform: “Pivotal have helped defined the basic implementation with Cloud Foundry, but EMC’s influence in the matter means they’ve directed the offering towards big data specifically from the start, and the way it does that is interesting.”