How the Cloud Native Computing Foundation Is Advancing Cloud Projects

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation announces project milestones and continued momentum, as organizations aim to benefit from the new model of building and deploying cloud native applications.

Kubecon 2017

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) kicked off its Kubecon CloudNativeCon North America conference on Dec. 6 with a host of announcements about its' expanding open-source cloud efforts. The CNCF is home to the Kubernetes container orchestration system as well as 13 additional cloud project that enable organizations to build cloud native architectures.

Among the announcements at the event, which has over 4,000 attendees, are new members as well as multiple project updates, including 1.0 releases from the containerd, Jaeger, CoreDNS and Fluentd projects.

"One of the original goals of the foundation was to bring cloud native computing to the masses," Chris Aniszczyk, CNCF CTO told eWEEK.  "One aspect of that was to have all the major cloud providers supporting managed Kubernetes."

The CNCF was originally formed as a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project in July 2015, with Google among the organization's original members. Both Microsoft and more recently Amazon Web Services, have also joined the effort, meaning all the major cloud providers do in fact now support CNCF and managed Kubernetes. CNCF is now about more than just Kubernetes as well, with a total of 14 different open-source cloud native projects now hosted at the foundation.

Among the projects is the containerd container runtime, which was originally developed by Docker Inc, and joined the CNCF on March 29 at the CloudNative/Kubecon EU event in Berlin, Germany. At KubeCon North America 2017, the containerd 1.0 release was announced, providing a stable base for container engine development.  Docker originally launched the open-source containerd effort in December 2016 as a way to enable a more open and transparent approach to container engine development.

The Jaeger project has now also reached the 1.0 milestone. Jaeger was originally developed by ride-sharing firm Uber and became a CNCF project on Sept. 13. Jaeger is a distributed tracing system that can be used to help find application performance bottlenecks.

"As you start building cloud native applications, having proper monitoring and tracing for applications are table stakes," Aniszczyk said. "Jaeger now gives cloud developers the ability to use distributed tracing within their stack."

Another CNCF project that has reached the 1.0 milestone is the Fluentd data collector project. Fluentd joined the CNCF in November 2016 as the foundation's fourth project and was originally developed by software firm Treasure Data

"Fluentd is already a fairly mature project," Aniszczyk said. "The 1.0 milestone shows they have grown their committer and maintainer base to be larger than just a single company, which is important for the long-term health of the project."

Though multiple CNCF projects have released new updates at the Kubecon North America 2017 event, Aniszczyk stressed that there is no plan to have a co-ordinated released cycle across all the projects. He noted that every project has its' own release cadence and there is no mandate from the CNCF to align releases.

"One of lessons we learned from other foundations is that it is not always healthy to force integration across projects via an aligned released cycle," Aniszczyk said. "Our attitude has been to allow the market to decide whether it makes sense to put different project together."

Looking Forward

With 14 projects currently part of the CNCF, Aniszczyk expects there to be as many as eleven additional new projects by the end of 2018. He said that now in December 2017, the CNCF is already in the process of reviewing five new projects for admission to the foundation.

Among the areas of interest for the CNCF and Aniszczyk is the emerging market for serverless technologies.

"CNCF is becoming the open-source center of gravity for serverless development," Aniszczyk said.

He added that through the CNCF serverless working group, all the major cloud providers including Amazon, Google and Microsoft  are working together to figure out important issues such as function portability. The working group is developing a specification called Open Events that will standardize how function based events are executed across the different serverless platforms.

"You'll see a lot more serverless activity from the CNCF in 2018," Aniszczyk  said. "Serverless is really just another programming model built on top of cloud native technologies."

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.