Cloud Foundry Foundation launches Korifi to simplify the Kubernetes developer experience

The Cloud Foundry Foundation today announced the launch of Korifi, a new developer experience that will offer a Cloud Foundry-compatible application platform on top of Kubernetes.

Since its initial release more than 10 years ago, the open source Cloud Foundry project has established itself as the go-to platform as a service (PaaS) for many larger enterprises that want to offer their developers a language-agnostic developer experience that abstracts away most of the infrastructure concerns. In its early days, before containers were a buzzword, Cloud Foundry built its own container system but has since, for the most part, refocused its efforts on building on top of Kubernetes. Now, with Kubernetes co-inventor Craig McLuckie at the helm of the Cloud Foundry Foundation as the chairman of its board, it's maybe no surprise that the organization is doubling down on this.

Still, Cloud Foundry already launched two Kubernetes-centric projects in recent years, KubeCF, a Cloud Foundry distribution for Kubernetes and cf-for-k8s, which allows developers to push their application code to Kubernetes. So why launch yet another Kuberrnetes-related project?

"As Kubernetes has matured, our community has built several Cloud Foundry abstractions to reduce Kubernetes complexities,” Chris Clark, Cloud Foundry's program manager, said. “The proven Cloud Foundry developer experience already saves organizations millions of dollars by maximizing developer productivity. With Korifi, we’re building on a new architecture learned from previous iterations like cf-for-k8s and KubeCF. Korifi brings greater interoperability with cloud-native technologies, bringing the ease and simplicity of the Cloud Foundry app developer experience to Kubernetes.”

McLuckie noted that this new project is the result of some deeper changes to how the Cloud Foundry Foundation operates. "With Project Korifi, we've really come together as a community and worked through a lot of the structures that we put in place to emulate what we learned worked well in the Kubernetes community," McLuckie explained. "So [we] have a technical oversight committee and special interest group forums to work through design, ideation and execution and then produce something which works not just for one vendor -- or which was one vendor's thesis of what an ideal abstraction of [Cloud Foundry] on a Kubernetes destination would look like -- but to pull the broader group together."

He also said that the existing Cloud Foundry product isn't going away and won't get replaced by this new product, especially because while Cloud Foundry works great with Windows workloads, that's not something the Kubernetes project, which comes out of the Linux world, ever focused on (though it's worth noting that Kubernetes has also made some strides in supporting Windows workloads, too).

"We just see this as being a very accretive story to the Kubernetes ecosystem," said McLuckie. "We do see high levels of demand for that Application Platform as a Service experience -- that set of guardrails that gets you into a production context -- and bringing these worlds together in a way that's going to support it. I think it's just very positive and powerful."

Both McLuckie and Clark stressed that the Foundation is looking to the community to learn about the directions the software's users want to take Korifi. "This is something where we want to be a little progressive in terms of how we work with the communities," McLuckie explained. "We want to get the beta out there; we want to see what capabilities people use, what the critical inhibitors are to use. And then we'll focus on investments as a community around the things that really matter." This also means the organization is still looking to see if Korifi will cover all of Cloud Foundry's capabilities or if maybe a subset will be enough, depending on how developers will use the new platform. Both VMware and SAP, two of the largest vendors in the Cloud Foundry ecosystem, will also be integrating Korifi into their own Cloud Foundry solutions.