Cloud Leaders Must Acknowledge Importance of Agility via OSS Initiatives

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

• Leading into JavaOne, keep an eye on prominent microservices community project MicroProfile including vendor participants.

• Another important cloud initiative receives strong support this month via Microsoft and AWS.

As we head into the crush of fall conferences among application platform and cloud vendors, I’m watching for themes that will further the modernization of application development. Since I have concerns about the ongoing complexities around emerging microservices architectures, community projects focused on improving the development process via open source software initiatives will be especially important in coming months.

This week a prominent community project focused on microservices, MicroProfile, announced key feature enhancements aimed at accelerating the adoption of microservices within the Java EE community. While there are multiple efforts around standardizing Java EE technology, not the least of which is JCP, MicroProfile’s latest enhancement will include a common configuration API that can be applied to multiple deployments, basically externalizing a configuration from an app to support a rapidly changing DevOps environment including continuous delivery. Going forward, other areas the group is considering includes integration with Health Check, Health Metrics, and Fault Tolerance.

These efforts are important because the next iteration of vendors’ application server releases and PaaS offerings will involve new versions of Java EE, and it’s crucial that leading vendors come together to agree on the best approaches for supporting multi-cloud and other scenarios to help advance this emerging technology.

Of course, as with many of these efforts, there are politics involved, and some key PaaS vendors have not yet joined MicroProfile, including Oracle and Microsoft. Oracle traditionally updates Java EE via JCP (Java Community Process), but this lengthy three to four year specification iteration process is no longer acceptable. Instead, it needs community projects innovating around emerging technologies with more regular releases.

Another important developer and cloud-related community initiative this week was AWS joining the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), embracing the popular Kubernetes orchestration management technology which originated at Google. Following close behind a similar move by Microsoft, Amazon had been glaringly absent from CNFC, indicating its inability to align with key enterprise concerns.

Open source software (OSS) will play a key role in this current cloud era, helping ensure the success of emerging technologies and architectures across a multi-cloud environment, assuming of course that the politics can be worked out. The application platforms space and accompanying cloud services, architectures and frameworks are moving fast, and so vendors need to work together to ensure its successful adoption, or refuse and risk a stymied evolution.

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