The PCF K8s flip-flop


I’m starting to see companies abandon Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) in favour of Kubernetes distributions such as Red Hat’s OpenShift; and it’s almost certainly just a matter of time before we see traffic in the opposite direction.

My suspicion is that this is nothing to do with the technology itself[1], but rather that early implementations have failed to turn out as hoped, and people are blaming the platform rather than their inability to change the culture[2]. So they wheel in an alternative platform (and some fresh faces) and have another go.

We’ve seen this movie before with mobile development[3]. The native developers switched to cross platform frameworks just as the cross platform framework folk switched to native. It wasn’t that one approach was better or worse; as ever with these things there are trade offs that need to be balanced. It was just that v1 sucked, because the organisation that had built v1 hadn’t completed its cultural transformation; so the people making v2 wanted to change things up a bit.


[1] I could (and may) write an entirely separate post on the pros and cons of PCF and K8s, but the most important point is that they’re both platforms inspired by Google’s Borg that people can run outside of Google (or even on Google Cloud). Meanwhile this post ‘Comparing Kubernetes to Pivotal Cloud Foundry—A Developer’s Perspective‘ by Oded Shopen covers most of the key points.
[2] I’ll use ‘the way we do things around here’ as my definition for culture
[3] and NOSQL

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