Cloud Foundry interop scheme leaves PaaS players certifiable
PaaS portability promise is signed, sealed, delivered
The Cloud Foundry Foundation has created what amounts to a good cloudkeeping seal of approval.
The new Cloud Foundry Certification is “designed to establish reliable portability across PaaS products in a multi-vendor, multi-cloud environment.” Or in other words, if a platform-as-a-service provider can wave around the Foundation's certificate, it will prove that its implementation of Cloud Foundry is wonderfully vanilla and that if you choose to go to another certificate-holder, your code will come with you and work just fine when it lands.
CenturyLink's AppFog, HPE Helion Cloud Foundry, Huawei FusionStage, IBM Bluemix, Pivotal Cloud Foundry, SAP HANA Cloud Platform and Swisscom Application Cloud have all scored the certification on day one.
Lock-in is a real concern for cloud users, because PaaS players have the ancient imperative to find ways to tie customers to their platforms and aren't afraid to use them. This certification doesn't stop PaaS companies from doing so, but does ensure that if you enter their services through the door marked Cloud Foundry, there are always exits available.
PaaS providers therefore have little to lose by signing up with the Foundation and securing the certification: they get a lovely signifier of openness that matters to plenty of users, plus the chance to score business from rivals. There's not much danger either, because plenty of cloud users may not find Cloud Foundry is to their taste and come for a cloud's special features. ®