With KubeCF, Cloud Foundry comes to Kubernetes

SUSE, the Linux and cloud company, and Cloud Foundry are releasing KubeCF. It will enable you to run the Cloud Foundry PaaS on Kubernetes.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Some people think you need to decide between Cloud Foundry, a prominent open-source Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud, and Kubernetes, the wildly popular container orchestration program. That's never been true. They perform different jobs, and you've long been able to use them together.  Now, though, the Cloud Foundry Foundation with SUSE, the Linux and cloud company, are putting KubeCF forward as an incubating project.

KubeCF is an open-source distribution of Cloud Foundry Application Runtime (CFAR) designed to run on top of Kubernetes. The distribution works with the cf-operator from Project Quarks to deploy and manage releases built from cf-deployment, and can be configured to use Kubernetes as the underlying container scheduler using the work of Project Eirini.

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"We are very happy to have the KubeCF project in incubation with the Cloud Foundry Foundation and pleased with the support and feedback we received from the Runtime PMC and Cloud Foundry Kubernetes SIG," said Thomas Di Giacomo, SUSE's president of Engineering and Innovation. "Now under community governance, the KubeCF project can be more readily advanced by the broad community of Cloud Foundry contributors, ensuring that this important technology evolves in ways most useful to all."

If KubeCF sounds familiar, that's because it's been around for years. Its origins date back to 2017 when SUSE acquired HPE's Helion Cloud Foundry (HCF) and turned it into SUSE Cloud Foundry (SCF)

In this release, the code's been refactored to work on Kubernetes directly. It's also been open sourced under the same Apache 2 license as is Cloud Foundry itself. This work has been ongoing by SAP, IBM, and SUSE in the "Containerizing Cloud Foundry" initiative. Earlier results were the creation of Eirini for scheduling user apps on Kubernetes, and Quarks to deploy and manage BOSH, a virtual machine (VM) manager on Kubernetes.

The one thing missing, said Chip Childers, CTO of Cloud Foundry Foundation, was a distribution of CFAR (the Cloud Foundry application runtime) for Kubernetes. "With KubeCF, we were able to fill the gap by building a repository that brings all of the components of CFAR together into a distribution. We are thrilled to have them join as an incubation project and to continue a productive relationship in the future."

Abby Kearns, Cloud Foundry's Executive Director, added, "Bringing KubeCF into Cloud Foundry as an incubation project just makes a ton of sense. It demonstrates the level of commitment our community has to ensure that our powerful developer experience is available in Kubernetes-based infrastructures everywhere."

Open-source developers who want Cloud Foundry on Kubernetes today can get the KubeCF code now. While described as an incubator project, it's much more mature than that. It provides the full CFAR experience, passes acceptance tests, and will soon be backing at least two certified commercial releases.

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