This week’s release of Pivotal Cloud FoundryⓇ 1.6 adds a host of new features for developers and operators of Cloud-Native applications, including a major platform runtime update, new services for microservice-based application development, .NET support and an application lifecycle pipeline for continuous delivery. Download the 1.6 release or read on for a complete overview of the newest platform features.
Integrated Microservices With Spring Cloud Services
This release simplifies the development of Cloud-Native applications with a suite of new services for building Java applications using the popular Spring Boot and Spring Cloud projects. Spring Cloud Services (SCS) combines technology from Pivotal with NetflixOSS components for application configuration, service discovery, and fault-tolerance. These components are made available to development and operations teams as platform-managed services. SCS simplifies the installation, configuration, deployment, lifecycle management and security for the foundational elements of a microservice-based application. More details are available in the full Spring Cloud Services announcement.
Elastic Runtime Update
PCF 1.6 has support for Buildpack, Docker and Windows applications running side-by-side with the same platform features
Pivotal Cloud Foundry 1.6 marks the general availability of an updated platform runtime with improved container orchestration, performance, scalability and reliability. This more open and extensible runtime design adds support for new workloads and environments, including Docker container images and .NET applications on Windows. Among other improvements, the updated runtime now restarts crashed application instances in seconds, and enables SSH terminal access to running application containers, for easier developer access and troubleshooting. The new runtime design retains full backwards compatibility with the existing deployment API as well as all existing applications and services. Platform operators are able to operate both runtimes side-by-side and migrate production applications to the new runtime with no downtime.
.NET Applications On Windows
The platform is improving support for Microsoft-based development with the general availability of .NET application workloads on Windows. The new platform runtime adds support for Windows Server 2012 R2 workloads with lifecycle management and backing services. Developers can deploy any .NET application that follows 12-factor design patterns using standard Cloud Foundry CLI commands:
cf push APPNAME -s windows2012R2 -b binary_buildpack
Early Access Support For Microsoft Azure
This release expands the number of public cloud providers available for Pivotal Cloud Foundry deployments by adding early access support for Microsoft Azure. Azure integration includes service marketplace support, Azure resource manager templates for installing BOSH and Cloud Foundry, and a cloud provider interface to provision and manage VMs. More details are available in the full Microsoft announcement.
Docker Image Support Beta
The new platform runtime includes native support for deploying Docker container images with platform-managed health management, scaling and backing services. This public beta release supports image deployments from secure, public registries such as Docker Hub via a standard CLI command:
cf push APPNAME -o user/docker-image
Docker support currently has several documented caveats that are being improved for the upcoming GA release.
Application Delivery Pipeline for CI/CD
Pivotal is integrating with a range of application lifecycle management providers to offer a complete toolchain for continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD). This toolchain is made available as a suite of platform-managed services based on GitLab for collaborative source code control, CloudBees Jenkins for continuous integration, plus JFrog Artifactory for build and binary artifact management.
New & Improved Platform Services
- The Pivotal Single Sign-On service is now generally available after a successful public beta. The SSO service lets developers enable authentication and single sign-on for end users by integrating their applications with enterprise identity providers via SAML. The service has been certified with popular identity providers like Ping Identity, SiteMinder, Azure ADFS, VMware Identity Management and Okta.
- The new Tibco BusinessWorks Container Edition service enables Tibco customers to develop and deploy BusinessWorks applications to the Cloud Foundry platform as native applications.
- Services can now accept arbitrary parameters for customization purposes such as setting specific instance names.
- Asynchronous provisioning is a new option for services that need longer than 60 seconds to complete their initial setup. This additional provisioning time is particularly useful for services that must incorporate VM boot times or high-availability configurations.
- Service keys now offer an easy way to provision platform-managed services for applications not running on Pivotal Cloud Foundry.
Highlights around the continued focus on application and platform security include:
- The router now supports HTTPS traffic in addition to HTTP, enabling a load balancer to enforce HTTPS-only traffic.
- SSL termination at the router level is now available to encrypt traffic between Load Balancers and the Routers.
- Support for encrypted Elastic Block Storage (EBS) on Amazon EC2 deployments to meet data-at-rest encryption requirements for internal platform data.
General Platform Improvements
The 1.6 release also adds a range of general improvements to the buildpacks and platform runtime:
- Buildpacks have been revised with smaller buildpack sizes, faster staging times and support for arbitrary binaries.
- Context path-based routing enables multiple applications in the same space to share a fully qualified domain name. The router can distinguish which application should receive requests using an optional path attribute.
- Wildcard host routes enable a fallback application to provide a custom ‘404 error’ or maintenance page if users visit a route while the primary application is unavailable.
- The runtime API now supports users roles for managing organizations and spaces without having full administrator privileges.
Read more on Pivotal Cloud Foundry 1.6:
- Official release blog and press release
- Spring Cloud Services for Pivotal Cloud Foundry product blog
- James Watters talking with Coté on the 1.6 release and how customers are using PCF podcast
- Continuous integration and continuous deployment with GitLab, Cloudbees and JFrog partner blog
- Single Sign-on service product blog
About the Author