Pivotal Cloud Foundry

This solution introduces Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF) and the benefits of running PCF on Google Cloud, such as:

  • Rapid VM provisioning for scaling the platform to help meet your developer and user needs.

  • Use Cloud Load Balancing to help scale your apps to 1M+ requests, in seconds, without the need for pre-warming.

  • Create multi-region global PCF deployments by tying them together with Google's HTTP(S) load balancer.

  • Save up to 30% with sustained use discounts for virtual machines that run for a full-month period.

  • Save up to 80% with preemptible VMs for apps that can handle virtual machine restarts, compared to regular instances.

  • Fully tailor your PCF deployment’s VMs with Compute Engine custom machine types.

  • Leverage the low cost, durable, and scalable object storage of Cloud Storage as a backing store for your PCF deployment.

  • Use many of Google’s big data services through the PCF service broker for storing your app data in a resilient and distributed manner.

About PCF

PCF is a cloud native platform for deploying next-generation apps. Based on open source technology, PCF enables enterprises to rapidly deliver new experiences to their customers. PCF can be deployed on-premises and on many cloud providers to give enterprises a hybrid and multi-cloud platform. It provides a uniform way for you to launch, and quickly iterate on ideas in the language of your choice. Thus, letting you focus on adding business value with apps rather than designing and implementing how the app will be deployed, scaled, and exposed to your end users. PCF’s orchestration mechanisms enable developers to accelerate app development and reduce time to market.

Deployment architecture

The following diagram provides an overview of PCF’s components and functionality, including Google Cloud components that you can integrate seamlessly with your deployment.

Architecture of Google Cloud components that can integrate PCF.

PCF assembles apps and their dependencies using buildpacks. When operating PCF on Google Cloud, these artifacts are stored in Cloud Storage. A PCF deployment on Google Cloud also uses Cloud Load Balancing, and other software-defined networking features such as subnetworks and firewall rules. PCF lets admins register a service broker, which lets app developers leverage the data services of Google Cloud natively.

These platform-level integrations lets you harness Google's infrastructure to reduce your operational overhead and provide a more resilient installation.

Running PCF on Google Cloud

Running PCF on Google Cloud provides developers with the state-of-the-art networking and computing infrastructure that runs services such as YouTube, Gmail and Google Maps. With the global HTTP load balancer of Google Cloud, you can host your app code in a multi-region global environment with minimal effort and configuration. PCF lets you provision Google’s data services such as Cloud SQL, Datastore, and BigQuery from a service catalog, and easily discover and integrate them into your app regardless of which infrastructure provider PCF is deployed on. The PCF App Runtime can be configured to provide high availability, self-healing, and autoscaling of apps, with minimal configuration.

Scaling your PCF apps on Google Cloud can lead to significant performance improvements compared to on-premises or other cloud providers, because of Google's sub-minute VM provisioning times. PCF virtual machine images are called stemcells. Download Compute Engine stemcells from BOSH.

The following diagram shows an example of a multi-region PCF deployment that uses the global HTTP load balancer’s single anycast IP to route user requests to the closest region.

Architecture of multi-region PCF deployment on Google Cloud.

Administering PCF

Platform admins can leverage Ops Manager in PCF version 1.8 or higher to configure, deploy, and scale PCF on Google Cloud. You can rapidly provision Compute Engine instances in minutes to scale the underlying platform as your app traffic increases. PCF handles scaling down your apps and underlying infrastructure when traffic subsides, helping to ensure that you are only paying for computing resources that are actively used. With the sustained use discounts of Compute Engine, the baseline workload of your PCF installation can receive up to a 30% discount on its VM pricing.

The Google BOSH CPI is the mechanism that allows your PCF deployments on Google Cloud to manage your Compute Engine VMs. If your workloads permit intermittent VM downtime, such as using Concourse CI for your app testing, you can combine the preemptible VMs of Compute Engine with BOSH's powerful self-healing capabilities to restore stopped VMs and save up to 80% off standard VM pricing.

PCF can be deployed across multiple providers, including on-premises data centers, to help give your developers a seamless experience between environments. Developers will not be able to differentiate which infrastructure provider their apps are running in due to the elastic runtime’s clean abstraction between apps and their underlying infrastructure. PCF’s platform abstraction allows deployment and site reliability engineers within your organization to focus on making sure that the platform is running reliably, while developers can focus on ensuring that their app code is performing properly.

What’s next