Cloud R&D with Onsi Fakhouri

In the first 10 years of cloud computing, a set of technologies emerge that every software enterprise needs; continuous delivery, version control, logging, monitoring, routing, data warehousing. These tools were built into the Cloud Foundry project, a platform for application deployment and management.

As we enter the second decade of cloud computing, another new set of technologies is emerging as useful tools. Serverless functions allow for rapid scalability at a low cost. Kubernetes offers a control plane for containerized infrastructure. Reactive programming models and event sourcing make an application more responsive and simplify the interactions between teams who are sharing data sources.

The job of a cloud provider is to see new patterns in software development and offer tools to developers to help them implement those new patterns. Of course, building these tools is a huge investment. If you’re a cloud provider, your customers are trusting you with the health of their application. The tool that you build has to work properly and you have to help the customers figure out how to leverage the tool and resolve any breakages.

Onsi Fakhouri is the senior VP of R&D for cloud at Pivotal, a company that provides software and support for Spring, Cloud Foundry, and several other tools. I sat down with Onsi to discuss his strategy for determining which products Pivotal chooses to build. There is a multitude of engineering and business elements that Onsi has to consider when allocating resources to a project.

Cloud Foundry is used by giant corporations like banks, telcos, and automotive manufacturers. Spring is used by most enterprises that run Java, including most of the startups that I have worked at in the past. Cloud Foundry has to be able to run on-premise and in the cloud providers like AWS, Google and Microsoft. Pivotal also has its own cloud, Pivotal Web Services, and all of these stakeholders have different technologies that they would like to see built. Onsi’s job is to determine which ones have the highest net impact and make a decision on those and allocate resources towards them.

I interviewed Onsi at Spring One Platform, which is a conference that is organized by Pivotal who, full disclosure, is a sponsor of Software Engineering Daily. This week’s episodes are all conversations from that conference, and if there’s a conference that you think I should attend and do coverage at, let me know. Whether you like this format or not, I would love to get your feedback. We have some big developments coming for Software Engineering Daily in 2018 and we want to have a closer dialogue with the listeners. Please send me an email, jeff@softwareengineeringdaily.com or join our Slack channel.

Transcript

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