Cloud Native Computing Foundation Adds New Project, Grows Membership

With Kubernetes momentum building, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation adds a fourth project, announces new members and starts a certification program.

Cloud Native Computing Foundation

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which got its start in July 2015 as a vendor-neutral home for the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration platform, is now a broader effort. On Nov. 8, the CNCF announced new members, certification, training and a new project at the inaugural Cloud Native Con, which is co-located with KubeCon in Seattle.

The new project that the CNCF is adding to its roster is the open-source Fluentd data collector. Fluentd allows for the implementation of a unified logging layer, said Dan Kohn, executive director of the CNCF. He added that Fluentd's more than 600 plug-ins connect it to many data sources and data outputs.

"Logging is a crucial part of cloud native architectures," Kohn told eWEEK. "Fluentd was created to solve log data collection and distribution needs at scale, offering a comprehensive and reliable service to be implemented in conjunction with microservices and generic cloud monitoring tools."

Fluentd was voted in by the CNCF Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) as the group's fourth project, joining Kubernetes, Prometheus and OpenTracing. The CNCF had considered a fifth project, the CoreDNS effort, but that project—which is less than 6 months old—didn't get enough votes from the CNCF TOC.

"While the TOC sees great potential in CoreDNS, they want to see the project go through a full release cycle successfully and gain broader adoption," Kohn said. "The TOC welcomes the project resubmitting a proposal for them to vote on again in the future."

The TOC will soon be adding a set of graduation criteria that will enable younger projects to join the CNCF.


As adoption and deployment of Kubernetes grows, there is an increasing need to certify expertise. To that end, the CNCF is launching the Kubernetes Managed Service Providers (KMSP) program—a program that certifies people and their companies, not software, Kohn said.

"The program will include an online, proctored certification program to test that curriculum," he said. "The program will be run by the Linux Foundation for CNCF."

Early participants in the KMSP program include Apprenda, Canonical, Cisco, Container Solutions, CoreOS, Deis, Huawei, LiveWyer and Samsung SDS. Kohn said the participating companies are supporting the CNCF KMSP program by committing engineers to join the new Certification Working Group. The working group will help define the program's open-source curriculum, which will be available under the Creative Commons By Attribution 4.0 International license for anyone to use. The early supporter companies are also interested in becoming certified once the program is available in the second quarter of 2017, he said.

Looking beyond KMSP, the CNCF is also looking to grow the pool of certified individuals who have experience with Kubernetes. Kohn said the new program from the CNCF and the Linux Foundation does offer individual certification. To earn the Kubernetes Managed Service Provider status, the following requirements must be met: three or more certified engineers, an active contributor to Kubernetes and a business model to support enterprise end users. In addition, there will be a freely available massively open online course (MOOC) providing an introduction to Kubernetes available on edX.


The CNCF is growing its membership, adding Samsung SDS as a platinum member and Canonical, DigitalOcean and LiveWyer as Silver members. Total membership for the foundation is now at 65 global vendors, nonprofits and end-user organizations.

CNCF Platinum membership is $370,000 annually; Gold membership is $120,000 annually; and Silver membership ranges from $7,000 to $25,000, based on the number of employees, Kohn said. Nonprofit and Academic memberships for $500 and $1,000, respectively, also are available.

"The ecosystem fueling innovation across the container stack is growing so quickly that many of our new members are coming to us," he said.

From an organizational standpoint, the CNCF and its community are overseen by a governing board. Currently, it consists of company representatives (12 Platinum seats, one Gold seat and three Silver seats) plus the chairperson of the Technical Oversight Committee.

"Of course, as an open-source project, we welcome anyone to get involved in the development community, regardless of membership status," Kohn said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.