All About The Pivotal Cloud Foundry 1.5 Release

August 19, 2015 Simon Elisha

sfeatured-podcastThe latest and greatest is Pivotal Cloud Foundry release is out! With beta support for things like Diego and Windows 2012, as well as new security features including single sign on, app manager and S3 file store support, there are lots of goodies packed in it. This episode gives a quick run through of some of the highlights.

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Speaker 1:
Welcome to the Pivotal Perspectives Podcast. The podcast at the intersection of Agile, Cloud, and Big Data. Stay tuned for regular updates, technical deep dives, architecture discussions, and interviews. Now let’s join Pivotal’s Australia and New Zealand CTO Simon Alicia for the Pivotal Perspectives Podcast.

Simon Elisha:
Hello everyone and welcome back to the Pivotal Perspectives Podcast. Fantastic to have you back, my name is Simon Elisha, as you probably know by now but thank you for listening. We really do appreciate that you take the time with your driving, commuting, at the gym, lots of different places for lots of people to listen to. This week quick update one, I think it’s about time we spoke about Pivotal Cloud Foundry version 1.5. 1.5 brings some new cool capabilities to the platform that might be of interest to you so I’m going to kind of take a parted tour, again this is not everything that’s in the release but some of the important things that are there are worth knowing.

What’s first? First we have the Diego Beta Tile and the Windows 2012 Stack support. This is still in beta, but it’s a great example of the new run time environment that we’ll be providing that includes things like Docker support, support for Windows 2012 applications, etc. So, a really cool capability that you can try, experiment with, and explore to see what will be rolling into the GA release in the coming times.

We’ve also improved the security configuration of run time, so there’s a new section there where you can actually manage all the relative security features in one place, which kind of makes it easy to get a nice, centralized consistent view of the setup of your elastic run time.

Also what we’ve done is implemented S3 compatible file store configuration. This is because OpenStack let’s you use an external file store that’s compatible with Amazon S3 buckets, so you can now choose whether you want to deploy the Pivotal elastic run time using internal file store, so internal NFS, or an external S3 compatible bucket. This could be hosted by AWS, or OpenStack. Now I point out that it’s only Ceph backed containers that are compatible in the OpenStack case as well.

We also have some new experimental features that are there, you can explore these if you want. You should be cautious in using these because they are by definition experimental, but allows you to choose some interesting things around the way we do HTTPS traffic for example, and other security settings that we have. The API and CLI have been improved so that a space developer can now create a wildcard route for private domains. This means that you can now do simple things like have *. example.com be mapped to a special 404 application so that you can manage these types of undefined situations.

Now the big change is that the UAA and login service have been merged together, so we have one single component which means less virtual machines required and easy operation. We also get to introduce multi tenancy support for UAA. This is used in the new Pivotal single sign on services for applications on Pivotal Cloud Foundry. What is this Pivotal single sign on? It’s a very easy way for your application to be secured by federated identity providers with minimal coding effort. It basically connects your applications by a single sign on while streamlining that end user experience.

Because it’s a multi-tenant environment, it means that both applications and the identity providers can be segregated based on what you need. There’s more information about that on the website, but that’s a really handy capability.

We also now have runbooks available for CA site minder and ping identity single sign on if you use those capabilities as well. Also logging, Metron. Metron now has support for statsd if you want to send data that way as well as a bunch of other improvements around logging analytics and metrics. There’s also a new build pack, this is called the Static File Build Pack and is something that allows you to deploy an application made up solely of static assets. You say like why would I do this? Well most webpages in general are primarily static, so this is a really good use case for that. Just a simple way to deploy more static type applications in the environment. What it does is uses a minimal NginX instance to serve those assets, so you can also use a much lower memory quota than you normally would to deliver those capabilities.

What about on the ops manager page, on the ops manager front I should say. Lots of changes in that area, the first most notable thing is we introduced OpenStack support, this is in beta. It allows you to deploy PCF onto OpenStack using the ops manager, so it’s a much easier deployment process. We also support VSAN and we support now local disks on vSphere and speaking of vSphere, vSphere 6.0 is also a supported release. On the AWS support side we’ve introduced multi-region support. You can use it on all regions for memory except for the Frankfurt region and the China region at this stage, but everywhere else is good to go. We’ve also made that whole process even more lightweight, and this includes a CloudFormation template that makes the configuration almost trivial and you can download that as part of your release now as well.

A bunch of other minor features have been done in terms of improving the intelligence around when your stem cells need to be imported or downloaded I should say. It also cleans up uploaded BOSH assets after being used. Lots of different capabilities just to make life a little bit easier as well. One thing that I love personally is the installation log now includes time stamps before every botched command, and that was something that was driving me nuts because I like time stamps in all my logs. That is now there, so well done to the team, very happy with that.

On the apps manager side, so apps manager is the, used to be called developer console but now it’s called apps manager. We’ve removed the references to console all together. A few new capabilities there, first there a new accounting report that gives you an admin only view of the app usage across the entire instance of Pivotal Cloud Foundry. You can now see monthly average app instance counts, maximum counts for all orgs, etc. You can also see per org usage reports if you have the org auditor role as well. It let’s you have a bit more visibility.

They’ve also done some really cool performance enhancements on the display of this information. For example, the spaces tab on the org dashboard now gets new features to dynamically load data such as the counter status of each app, etc. Also, we’ve done, see this is the royal we, I don’t develop any of this stuff but I get to talk about it, hey?

The team has created a situation where both the apps manager and apps usage servers squash errands are optimized to shrink the deploy time and consume the smallest possible set of resources. This is as classic case of continuous improvement of a product as you deploy it over and over again. We get feedback from the field about what can be improved, what can be made better, and we roll that into the product.

Where can you get it? You can get it from http://network.Pivotal.io, available for download now. In fact the latest run time itself is already revved to 1.5.1 last time I looked. We’re always keeping these things up to date with the latest security fixes and improvements as well. If you are looking to deploy in AWS other than US East, this is the release for you. If you want to play with Diego, this is the release for you. If you want to play with Windows 2012, this is the release for you. Lots of good stuff to play with, so have fun with it. Until next time, keep on building.

Speaker 1:
Thanks for listening to the Pivotal Perspectives Podcast with Simon Elisha. We trust you’ve enjoyed it and ask that you share it with other people who may also be interested. Now we’d love to hear your feedback, so please send any comments or suggestions to podcast@pivotal.io. We look forward to having you join us next time on the Pivotal Perspectives Podcast.

About the Author

Simon Elisha is CTO & Senior Manager of Field Engineering for Australia & New Zealand at Pivotal. With over 24 years industry experience in everything from Mainframes to the latest Cloud architectures - Simon brings a refreshing and insightful view of the business value of IT. Passionate about technology, he is a pragmatist who looks for the best solution to the task at hand. He has held roles at EDS, PricewaterhouseCoopers, VERITAS Software, Hitachi Data Systems, Cisco Systems and Amazon Web Services.

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