Announcing New Pivotal Cloud Foundry Features

May 5, 2015 David Soul

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This month’s Pivotal Cloud Foundry release adds a host of new features that make it easier to develop distributed applications, including CLI plugins, a new session state caching service and high availability for MySQL databases. Check out the details below or download now.

MySQL Database Service Adds High Availability

Customers with installations offering multiple availability zones can now provide database plans that automatically provision synchronous, multi-node database cluster. This adds another layer of resiliency to the database as a service, which can be provisioned on a secure, self-service basis with full lifecycle management support including central updates and patching.

See the MySQL database service in action in the 5 minute video below, or check out the MySQL Database as a Service Announcement for more detail.

New Session State Caching Service

image09This release expands the integration between Pivotal Cloud Foundry and the Pivotal Big Data Suite with a new Session State Caching Service built on the Pivotal Gemfire in-memory data grid. This is the first service based on Pivotal GemFire to let developers easily enable rich session state for their applications.

The Session State Caching Powered By Gemfire makes client state highly-available to large application clusters, without concerns of data loss from application server failures. The newly announced service is currently in public beta and requires the Java Buildpack. Administrators will be able to centrally manage and monitor this new clustered service based on Gemfire best practices.

Application Autoscaling Now Generally Available

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 1.02.51 PM Application autoscaling has been upgraded from a separately installed service to being bundled in the Elastic Runtime. This built-in application service spins up the right number of application instances to meet changing application demand based on CPU utilization or a custom schedule.

New Platform Notifications Service

The platform now includes a customizable email notifications service for operators and service developers to communicate with Cloud Foundry users. This new service is being expanded to become the default communication channel for service and platform messages, and can be used by administrators to send custom user messages, such as planned downtime alerts.

Custom CLI Plugins

Automate common development tasks by creating your own custom commands in the Cloud Foundry command line interface. New commands can accept arguments, invoke other commands, make API calls and interact with the file system or environment. CLI plugins are standalone applications written in Go that can be packaged for public or private distribution.

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Install plugins from the plugin library

Custom plugins are already being shared in the public plugin repository at plugins.cloudfoundry.org such as:

  • Autopilot – Automate application blue/green deployments
  • CLI Recorder – Records and playbacks CLI commands
  • Console – Opens a terminal console in the application container
  • Live Stats – Monitor application CPU and memory usage in the browser

Based on customer interest, Pivotal is also considering a private plugin repository for customers to share plugins internally. Watch CLI plugins in action below:

Environment Variable Groups

Application administration is now easier with the ability to set new environment variables centrally instead of per-application. New variables can be applied deployment-wide during application staging or at runtime. This is useful for updating frequently changed environment variables, such as the HTTP proxy configuration used to access external network resources.

Real-time Application Application Logs In Browser

Easily monitor application and platform activity from the browser by watching real-time streaming logs in the Apps Manager.

Real-time application log streaming

Real-time application log streaming

First Packet Security Logging

Platform operators can enhance their application security by enabling first packet logging for specific application security groups. This create an auditable log record in the central log aggregator for the the first occurrence of any new outbound TCP connection. Security teams can more easily detect issues such as port scanning and respond more rapidly to abuse reports.

Central Logging Firehose

Our central logging system now offers a firehose to stream platform logs and metrics to an external logging service. The Loggregator firehose includes application logs, response time metrics, DEA and platform health messages. We’ve also made log management easier by letting operators seamlessly attach log drains to applications without needing to restage them.

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Cloud Controller Feature Flagsimage03

Platform operators can now quickly change core platform settings on the fly by setting Cloud Controller feature flags through the command line or API. This enables administrators to modify their platform configuration without the need for a BOSH deployment, for example to quickly set the platform to read-only mode.

 

Usage Metrics For Services

Usage reports now include application service usage as a billing metric to help with direct customer billing, internal chargebacks and interdepartmental showbacks.

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Application Routing Improvements

New wildcard application routes let administrators setup a fallback application to show when visitors try to visit an unused subdomain. Private domains have also been made more useful, with the option share a private subdomain between multiple platform organizations.

Improved Identity Management

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This release broadens single sign-on support for SAML identity providers by adding the option to specify provider metadata via URL or XML under the Elastic Runtime tile in Ops Manager.

Additionally, the administrator role can now be derived from one or more LDAP groups. This allows for role based provisioning and de-provisioning administrative accounts without the need to manage entitlements at individual user level. LDAP configuration is now updated via the Elastic Runtime tile.

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About the Author

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