Pivotal CF 1.3 Is Generally Available

September 26, 2014 Kamala Dasika

Run Production Applications with the Leading Enterprise Distribution of Cloud Foundry

featured-pcfPivotal CF 1.3 is now available, complete with new capabilities that make it easier for enterprise IT to arm their developers with a Platform as a Service (PaaS) in their data center while gaining the security, high availability and governance that IT desires.

This is the fourth release since the we launched Pivotal CF enterprise PaaS into general availability in November 2013.

New in Pivotal CF 1.3

 

Video overview of Pivotal CF 1.3 (Watch)

Multiple Availability Zones

Pivotal CF offers a new High Availability feature enabling Cloud Operators to create many Availability Zones in Pivotal CF Operations Manager and install Pivotal CF across clusters and resource pools. Developers simply push their applications to Pivotal CF and instances of their apps are automatically balanced across availability zones. If a host within one Availability Zone experiences a problem, the Pivotal CF installation will stay available by relying on the jobs installed on the other Availability Zones.

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Managing availability zones in Pivotal CF Operations Manager

Multiple Networks

With previous versions, Pivotal CF components were deployed to a single network and infrastructure administrators have been isolating Pivotal CF components from the infrastructure by setting up their own firewalls and routing rules. Pivotal CF 1.3 gives operators the ability to isolate Pivotal CF products on different networks. This is an important feature for those concerned with security and adds an extra layer of protection beyond application containerization and encryption. If an application or framework is breached, it can be isolated from corporate data and infrastructure so that the breach is contained.

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Isolating Pivotal CF products on different networks in Operations Manager

Security Groups

Security groups are fine grained, policy based, whitelists of rules which may be used by operators to set regulated application access to certain networks. Security groups can be targeted to Spaces thus applying that access policy to all applications deployed in those spaces.

On-Demand Access to Enterprise Apache Hadoop®

Pivotal CF administrators can now define multiple Service Plans. Each On-Demand Service Plan can create different sized Pivotal HD clusters or clusters comprised of different Pivotal HD software components.

On-Demand Service Plans can automatically interoperate with supported versions of EMC’s Isilon product, which can be configure to run Apache Hadoop®’s HDFS software component. In this scenario HDFS is not co-located with the compute software components and all data written by the software components is stored on Isilon. This allows administrators to build a service that leverages virtualization for compute and Isilon for storage.

Pivotal CF developers can now bind the hosts and ports of Pivotal HD software that is running and administered outside of Pivotal CF to their Pivotal CF pushed application. This is called an External Service Plan. This allows developers to dynamically point their application at their organization’s production Pivotal HD environment.

Audit and Usage Dashboard for Platform Administrators

Dev Console is one of two main interfaces for developers to use in Pivotal CF in addition to the cf CLI (command line interface). Dev Console excels at presenting information that is contextual and updated in real-time, and providing controls that are dynamic and interactive.

Pivotal CF 1.2 brought a big leap forward for the Dev Console with a unified and persistent navigation on every page, a new Org Dashboard with a high-level status view of apps and services in each space and consolidated org-specific features, a fully-responsive design. Pivotal CF 1.3 continues this forward progress with two key improvements—the App Dashboard and Usage Reports (Watch).

The App Dashboard has been entirely redesigned to show developers everything related to an app — its health, scale, status, events, route(s), service binding(s), and more—on a single page. New capabilities include:

  • Inline and interactive controls. Seamlessly scale your app’s instance count, memory limit, and / or disk limit. Start, stop, or restart your app in seconds.
  • Real-time user feedback. See changes to scale or state immediately reflected on all elements of the App Dashboard.
  • Live-updating data. Watch as new events appear and status changes based on other user’s activity, whether done in Developer Console, the CLI, or elsewhere.
  • New features. See a new event viewer that shows the ten most recent app events, and features better organization of and interaction with bound service instances and routes, as well as additional information on your app’s buildpack and stack, and more.

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App Dashboard

The new Usage Report shows operators how much memory is used by each app. Data is derived from app usage events in the Elastic Runtime, such as starts, stops, and scales, and is rendered in GB hours, a measure of memory allocated over time. Apps are grouped by their parent space, and all spaces in an org are shown on the same page, which makes it easier to compare data. Capabilities include:

  • More manageable data sets. Usage is broken down at the org, space, and individual app level, which means you’re able to quickly scan for items warranting closer investigation.
  • Detailed app drilldowns. Rather than a lengthy list of app app start and stop events, all identical app configurations (where the number of instances and amount of memory are the same) are rolled up into a single time duration for measurement. This makes the data easier to reason about.
  • Current and historical data. The default view is of the current calendar month. Data from two previous months is available as well.
  • Data export. All data viewable on the page may also be downloaded in a .csv file.

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Usage report with app detail exposed

New and Updated Pivotal CF Data Services

With Pivotal CF, cloud operators can now provision a growing variety of platform integrated application and data services that have been designed to run in the cloud. Some examples of the types of services include:

  • MySQL for Pivotal (Relational database)
  • Pivotal HD for Pivotal (Hadoop®)
  • RabbitMQ for Pivotal (Message bus)
  • Redis for Pivotal CF (Key-value cache/store)
  • RiakCS for Pivotal CF (S3 compatible object store)
  • MongoDB for PivotalCF (NoSQL database)

The services are integrated with Pivotal CF Operations manager to allow for full lifecycle management—from click through provisioning, consolidated logging for visibility and debugging to inflight updates and scaling. Operators can now manage access to Marketplace services and plans can be made available to all organizations or only to particular organizations.

Developers get instant access to a variety of popular services for new applications, testing and hands-on experience. Via the Service Broker, their apps can bind to these services automatically reducing cycle time by eliminating the typical complexities around deployment, security, networking, and resource management.

New Commercially Supported Buildpacks

In addition to Java, Ruby and Node.js, new commercially supported buildpacks for PHP, Python and golang are available with Pivotal CF 1.3 so developers benefit with the same “push and it just works” experience for even greater variety of development languages/frameworks.

The architectural consistency and a common platform for deployment across applications and across deployment environments (dev, test, prod, etc.) reduces complexity, provisioning delays and costs caused by environmental and configuration differences.

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Introducing Internationalization & Localization

In addition to English, command line support for 4 new languages—French, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Spanish—is now supported along with Ÿi18n pluggability for additional language support in the future.

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Summary

With an operational model that provides a clean separation of developer and operator functions (watch), Pivotal CF provides a turnkey PaaS experience that enables enterprise IT to rapidly set up and manage a PaaS environment on any prevalent infrastructure with built in high availability, security and single-pane-of-glass management of apps and services.

We are very excited to have expanded our enterprise capabilities with this release and will continue to deliver a fast pace of innovation.

For those interested in trying out Pivotal CF 1.3, download an evaluation today on Pivotal Network.

Blog contributors: Kamala Dasika, Scott Truitt, Logan Lee, Matt Reider and James Bayer

Editor’s Note: Apache, Apache Hadoop, Hadoop, and the yellow elephant logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of the Apache Software Foundation in the United States and/or other countries.

About the Author

Kamala Dasika

Kamala Dasika has been working on Cloud Foundry since 2011 and has previously held various product or engineering positions at VMware, Tibco, SAP, and Applied Biosystems. Kamala started her software career 17 years ago with a transformative technology – the first fully automated, high throughput instrument used to sequence the Human Genome. She believes she is working with another transformative team at Pivotal that will change the way software is produced. Kamala holds a B.S.E in Computer Engineering and an M.B.A., Marketing Management.

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