Cloud Foundry poised to shine in 2016

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Barely a week goes by in which a press release or media alert related to Cloud Foundry fails to arrive in my inbox. Whether it's a new Cloud Foundry-based platform as a service launching, a new certification or new integrations and features, it appears that the PaaS software is getting plenty of attention.

Looks can be deceiving, though. Unlike software as a service and infrastructure as a service, PaaS has not seen exponential growth to date. Last May at DevOps Days Toronto, I spoke with a local Pivotal employee in attendance. After trying to drum up interest in discussing Cloud Foundry, I'd say he was a little discouraged. Surrounded by DevOps practitioners and those interested in becoming DevOps professionals, he told me later that many of the attendees were unaware of Cloud Foundry.

Fast forward to December of last year. After speaking with Cloud Foundry Foundation CEO Sam Ramji about the new Cloud Foundry certification, it seems that the open source PaaS project has found much greater acceptance – at least with vendors. And I suspect there would be fewer "what is Cloud Foundry?" questions at a DevOps-oriented event.

Because of its open source nature, Ramji told me it was impossible to know exactly how many Cloud Foundry deployments were in the world. He noted he regularly discovered new deployments behind enterprise and regional PaaS deployments.

As we kick off 2016, there are many predictions about cloud and DevOps floating around. Based on the articles I wrote and the people I spoke with in 2015, I'd say 2016 is going to be a good one for Cloud Foundry, as well as for PaaS in general. Compared to SaaS and IaaS, PaaS is still quite small, but it's growing.

Each year, the research firms estimate the value of the market, and the PaaS market is constantly on the rise. It appears to be growing faster than annual research indicates. Predictions over the next few years put the overall market value at anywhere between $7 billion and $14 billion.

The Cloud Foundry Foundation and vendors like IBM, Pivotal, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and many others are poised to take advantage of that growth while also providing DevOps professionals with the cloud-based services they require for application development and deployment.

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