Inside Extreme Scale Tech|Saturday, October 25, 2014
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Pivotal Cloud Foundry Targets Mobile App Development 

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Expanded enterprise mobile services launched by Pivotal, the enterprise platform-as-a-service specialist spun out of VMware, are intended to help developers and cloud operators speed the delivery a range of mobile applications.

The company said its Pivotal CF product offers app developers a set of mobile capabilities that work with previously announced data services to deploy next-generation applications. The “CF” in the new product’s name refers to Cloud Foundry, the open-source platform cloud framework associated with the VMware spinoff.

San Francisco-based Pivotal notes that enterprises are racing to deliver mobile apps as the number of smartphones currently in use reaches 1 billion. The company said its Pivotal CF services are intended to deliver scalable mobile apps that can leverage large volumes and varieties of data.

According to Al Sargent, Pivotal’s product marketing director, 90 percent of enterprise applications will be delivered to mobile devices by 2017. Hence, he argued that enterprise PaaS solutions are critical for providing app developers with production-ready services like backend push notifications, API gateways and mobile data synchronization.

The push notification capability includes direct integration with enterprise services. Meanwhile, the aggregation of APIs is designed to help developers consolidate multiple backend APIs to improve app performance. The data synch capability is intended it allow APIs to access different types of data storage, a feature that is said to make it easier for developers to incorporate enterprise data into apps.

 

In June, Pivotal announced a batch of new data services for its Cloud Foundry-based PaaS offering. These include the ability to deploy applications in “dual availability zones” as a way to boost redundancy in clouds. They also included additional data services for developing new enterprise apps.

Pivotal’s push into mobile enterprise applications is driven in part by its October 2013 acquisition of Toronto-based Xtreme Labs, which specialized in software used in mobile application development. “Every enterprise today has to exploit the opportunities offered by mobile,” Pivotal CEO Paul Maritz stressed in announcing the acquisition last fall.

Maritz formed Pivotal in 2013 after serving as CEO of VMware and chief strategist at EMC. He immediately positioned the VMware spinoff as a PaaS provider focusing on development of next-generation enterprise applications. The company’s strategy seeks to capitalize on the parallel growth of mobile devices and the explosion of data flowing from the emerging Internet of Things.

Given the shortening cycles times for operating systems and mobile devices, the company argues that an enterprise PaaS platform gives customers the best chance to deliver and scale up applications. In turn, Pivotal CF is being pitched as a way for companies to maintain control over their data while improving compliance with IT policies and easing backend system integration.

Pivotal CF Mobile Services are expected to be generally available during the third quarter of 2014. Pivotal did not release pricing information.

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