How Stark & Wayne deals with PCF (Pivotal Cloud Foundry) to Open Source Cloud Foundry migrations
Xiujiao Gao is the Client Lead and Senior Cloud Engineer at Stark & Wayne (a leading cloud-native consulting firm) and is responsible for ensuring teams deliver on time and that they are aligned with the customer goals. All the while, Gao also works as an engineer. One of the projects she is currently working on is centered around migration, where companies are looking to move from Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) to Open Source Cloud Foundry (CF). Once a company has migrated, Gao works to maintain and upgrade the platform.
There are, of course, challenges to be faced with such migrations. One such challenge is, when migrating from Pivotal Cloud Foundry to Open Source Cloud Foundry, they must refactor everything, which requires creating a new app and then re-pushing everything to the new CF. Although this method is easier for CF operators, it’s a lot of work for developers. The next big challenge is to take a snapshot of the PCF and recover everything to the new CF, which requires zero work for operators but a lot of work for developers.
It’s also necessary to keep everything up to date, which offers challenges of its own. According to Gao, “Some companies actually prefer to be safer”. In other words, not every company is okay with upgrading their foundry (or their apps) to the latest release. For that, Stark & Wayne has found that most companies have a test environment (aka a “sandbox”) so they can test new apps and updates before shifting them to production. Other companies are adopting CI/CD for their Cloud Foundry environments. Which route a company takes will depend on their view of downtime.
Stark and Wayne also must deal with companies using multiple environments. Gao adds that some companies will have twenty to thirty environments. That’s when they depend upon Genesis, an open-source deployment toolchain for at-scale Cloud Foundry and BOSH deployments, which lowers the barrier of entry for new CF and BOSH operators.