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Cloud Native Computing Foundation 2 Years Later

A little over two years ago after five years of service at Twitter, I took the opportunity to build an open source foundation from scratch using some of the computing techniques we experimented with at Twitter:

I was initially excited about the idea because of my experience with open source foundations in previous lives, from being involved with the Eclipse Foundation, Linux Foundation, Apache Foundation plus part of the early discussions around OpenStack governance formation. I viewed this as an opportunity to learn from the lessons of other foundations and do something new and modern in the GitHub era, along with of course making our own mistakes. You really don’t get many opportunities¬†to start an open source foundation from scratch that will impact the whole industry.

Stepping back, the original idea behind the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) was to promote a method of computing (we call it cloud native) pioneered by internet scale giants such as Google, Twitter, Facebook and so on and bring it to the rest of the industry. If you looked inside these companies, you can see they were running services at scale, packaged in containers, orchestrated by some central system.

The first mission was to provide a neutral home for Kubernetes as the seed project of the foundation but also provide room for adjacent projects that specialized in specific areas for this new world (think monitoring and tracing as an example). The second mission was to convince all the major cloud providers to build in Kubernetes as a managed offering so we could essentially have a “POSIX of the cloud” that would give us a set of distributed APIs that would work everywhere (including on premise). Last week with AWS announcing their managed offering EKS, we have accomplished this goal with every major cloud provider supporting Kubernetes natively, kubernetes is truly the lingua franca of the cloud.

We still have a long way to go within CNCF to truly making cloud native computing ubiquitous across the industry, but I’m excited to see so many companies and individuals come together under CNCF to make this happen, especially as we have our largest annual gathering this week, KubeCon/CloudNativeCon. Personally, I’m nothing but thrilled to what the future holds and truly lucky to be serving our community under the auspices of the foundation.

A special thank you to Craig McLuckie, Sarah Novotony, Todd Moore, Ken Owens, Peixin Hou, Doug Davis, Jeffrey Borek, Jonathan Donaldson, Carl Trieloff, Chris Wright and many other folks that were at that CNCF first board meeting two years ago bootstrapping the foundation.