Ericsson, NTT and Verizon among eight new Cloud Foundry members

Open source Platform as a Service (PaaS) initiative Cloud Foundry announced the addition of eight new members this week. Ericsson, NTT and Verizon are among those looking to contribute to and benefit from the initiative, which is indicates how seriously telcos are looking at digging deeper into the cloud stack.

Cloud Foundry, which earlier this year was spun off from enterprise software vendor Pivotal to form an independently governed foundation, added eight members to the fledging group. Along with the telecoms players, new members included IT heavyweights Accenture, GE and Capgemini along wtih BNY Mellon and Intel.

Pivotal said that the organisations either plan to develop for the platform and/or adopt it within their own organisations.

“Ericsson is committed to collaborating with organisations that are helping develop the interoperable, open and programmable network of tomorrow,” said Ulf Ewaldsson, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Ericsson.

“We look forward to working with Cloud Foundry Foundation and its constituent members to build a production platform for virtualized network functions and other workloads important to our customers,” Ewaldsson added.

Joe Crawford, executive director of strategic alliances of Verizon Enterprise Solutions, which last year signed up to participate with the Cloud Foundry Community Advisory Board, said the company is committed to supporting open standards and “believes in providing choice and flexibility to clients,” one of the drivers behind formally joining the Foundation.

“From Verizon’s perspective supporting an open environment for cloud accelerates cloud ecosystem growth by creating a pathway for developing a true ecosystem of cloud services for enterprises. Creating this ecosystem of enterprise-grade technologies is core to our cloud strategy,” Crawford said.

“We believe that in supporting open source projects we help increase the overall market acceptance of these platforms and encourage collaboration by cloud providers. This in turn strengthens the overall cloud market through additional quality, choice and value for enterprise customers,” he added.

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With industry support consolidating primarily around Cloud Foundry of all open source PaaSes, telcos have been relatively quick to jump on board, with those that have joined up this week otherwise working to bolster their own cloud activities as of late.

Ericsson last week said that it would reorganise its network division and create a dedicated virtualisation unit (Cloud & IP) in a bid to keep pace with the likes of Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei, which have arguably been quicker to embrace virtualisation and other cloud-technologies in the telecoms space than the Swedish vendor.

Last month Verizon unveiled its Secure Cloud Interconnect service (SCI), which uses private IP addresses to connect its cloud and multiple cloud platforms together. The programme originally launched in partnership with Microsoft Azure, but the telco said it plans to announce partnerships with more cloud service providers as early as the second half of this year.

And in March, NTT Com struck a deal with Toshiba to jointly deliver the latter’s cloud services from NTT’s datacentres and use its network and interconnection services.

The addition of enterprise IT heavyweights – Accenture, Capgemini, GE, Intel – also raises further questions about the viability of Red Hat-led OpenShift, which simply hasn’t cultivated the same level of industry support.

Red Hat recently announced the launch of OpenShift Marketplace in a bid to broaden the appeal of its open source platform as a service project among developers, and attract more independent software vendors to the service. But the burning question is whether it will slow the march of enterprise IT incumbents currently flocking to its main rival.

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