Recently My colleague Ruurd Keizer and I have been working on an experiment involving raspbery PIs (or PII?), BOSH and cloud foundry. The goal of this experiment is to run the runtime components of Cloud foundry on one or more Raspberry Pis. We will be sharing our journey and demonstrate the result at the Cloud Foundry Summit in Boston in April!
We get asked why we started working on this all the time so let me explain: first of all we though it would be an interesting learning experience. After all, you only learn how something works by taking it apart and then putting it back together. Which is basically what we did. Another reason that might just be as important is that we think alternative CPU architectures, especially ARM, might take some of the datacenter market share from x86 CPU’s. Giving Cloud foundry multi architecture support would make migrating from one architecture to another pretty easy. Mixing architectures in one Cloud foundry platform gives consumers a choice between more powerfull x86 CPUs and a little less powerfull but also a lot less power hungry ARM CPUs. I believe that for a lot of workloads the less power hungry ARM chips are a good fit. And saving a bit of energy helps save the planet so what’s not to like 🙂
During our attempts to run cloud foundry on Raspberries we went through the whole cloud foundry stack. One of our goals was to have everything deployed by BOSH. So we had to start as low as the physical level and build a power manager for the raspberries. We also had to build our own IaaS layer, BOSH CPI and Stemcell before we even got to the point of porting the actual cloud foundry code to raspberry PI. Porting the code also posed some problems but nothing we couldn’t fix.
So at the CF Summit we will be showing the first ever ARM deployment of cloud foundry! If you want to have a preview of what we build you can take a look at our github repo: github.com/PiFoundry and this blogpost: https://www.automate-it.today/first-ever-cloud-foundry-running-on-arm/.