How CNCF Is Growing the Cloud Landscape at KubeCon

SEATTLE—Thousands of developers, vendors and end users alike are descending on Seattle from Dec. 11-13 for the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America event. They are all here to learn and talk about the growing cloud-native landscape, anchored by the Kubernetes container orchestration system.

Among those at KubeCon is Chris Aniszczyk, chief operating officer of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). In a video interview with eWEEK, Aniszczyk provides insight into the KubeCon event as well as the current and future direction of the CNCF, which now hosts 31 different open-source efforts.

"I'm shocked at the level of growth we have in our community; we're at 8,000 attendees here," he said. "In general, the industry is finally coalescing around Kubernetes and cloud-native as a modern way to do infrastructure."

The CNCF is now celebrating its third anniversary. It was originally formed in 2015 by the Linux Foundation and at the outset only hosted a single project: Kubernetes. Kubernetes is no longer alone at the CNCF though. At this point, Aniszczyk said the CNCF hosts 31 projects that span multiple aspects of the cloud application and infrastructure delivery ecosystem. And Aniszczyk expects that projects more will be added in the coming years.

"There are still some gaps to fill," he said. "For example, we don't have a serverless project outside of the cloud events projects, which is more of a specification."

Aniszczyk said that by 2020 he could see the CNCF hosting 50 or even 60 projects. 

CNCF Projects

Among the projects that have recently become part of the CNCF is Virtual Kubelet, which was originated by Microsoft. Aniszczyk said Virtual Kubelet provides an interesting capability to stretch Kubernetes in different ways.

"Virtual Kubelet is interesting because there is this whole notion of supporting nodeless workloads on Kubernetes," he explained. "So essentially being able to proxy out to another cloud provider to burst workloads, where you aren't running the workloads yourself."

Aniszczyk is also particularly enthusiastic about the Envoy project, which was created by ride-sharing company Lyft and officially joined the CNCF in September 2017. Envoy is a service mesh reverse proxy technology that is used to help scale micro-services data traffic. Among the organizations that are now using Envoy are Square, Stripe, Amazon and Google.

"Envoy is a project to watch over the next year, taking over the traditional reverse proxy market," Aniszczyk said.

The CNCF has a flow for projects, starting with the sandbox phase, then moving to incubation and finally to graduation. To date, only three projects have graduated, including Kubernetes orchestration, Prometheus monitoring and Envoy service proxy. Aniszczyk said that next up for graduation is likely the containerd container runtime and the Fluentd logging projects. There is also an active list of projects looking to get into the CNCF, which is publicly posted at

Looking forward, Aniszczyk said his biggest focus is making sure that CNCF projects are able to grow and sustain themselves.

"So basically enabling a virtuous cycle where projects are healthy, vendors are able to make money selling whatever they are doing with the projects, and users are actually finding good use out of our community and projects," he said.

Watch the full video interview with Chris Aniszczyk above.

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