Interview with Chris Aniszczyk, COO of Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Kubernetes: the “distributed” Linux of the cloud

Gabriela Motroc

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Kubernetes is the first CNCF project to graduate — this means it is “mature and resilient enough to manage containers at scale across any industry in companies of all sizes.” We talked with Chris Aniszczyk, COO of CNCF about Kubernetes’ popularity, what’s next for this technology and what other projects are in line for graduation.

JAXenter: Kubernetes recently became the first CNCF project to graduate. What does this mean for CNCF and what’s going to change now that Kubernetes graduated?

Chris Aniszczyk: The CNCF Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) voted for Kubernetes to become CNCF’s first project to graduate as it has proven to be mature and resilient enough to manage containers at scale across any industry in companies of all sizes. The CNCF graduation criteria established by the TOC define what is a sustainable, production ready, mature open source project with open governance that you can bet your business on. Just because a project is open source, doesn’t mean that it is high quality and sustainable.

There are criteria the TOC defined to reflect best practices that all CNCF graduated projects must adhere to:

  • Adopt the commercially friend Apache 2.0 license and adhere to CNCF’s IP Policy
  • Adopt and enforce security best practices via the Core Infrastructure Initiative
  • Adopt an open and transparent governance
  • Demonstrate a substantial ongoing flow of commits and merged contributions
  • Have maintainers from multiple organizations to promote diversity
  • Used successfully in production by multiple organizations
  • Define and follow a code of conduct

Also, this concept of project graduation isn’t really new as other open source foundations like the ASF have this as part of their governance process. What people may not realize is that CNCF is still a young foundation and it took some time for us to evolve our governance processes since our founding over a couple years ago. Sarah Novotny was spot on when she said that the project and ecosystem changed the face of infrastructure in the cloud. As a graduate, Kubernetes is in an even stronger position to grow faster and sustain a vibrant, healthy and diverse technical community.

JAXenter: What’s the next CNCF project to graduate and how does it compare with Kubernetes in terms of popularity?

I’m thrilled to see Docker, Mesos and Spark integrate with Kubernetes as I think they go together like peanut butter and jelly. I expect to see other big data and AI/ML projects embrace Kubernetes.

Chris Aniszczyk: Each project decides on its own when to submit a graduation proposal to the CNCF TOC when they think they meet the graduation criteria. They also have their own respective communities they target, some of our projects integrate with Kubernetes but can be used without Kubernetes.

We have Prometheus and Fluentd both in the queue with interest in graduation over the next couple of months. Prometheus is an open-source systems monitoring and alerting toolkit originally built at SoundCloud. Since its inception in 2012, many companies and organizations have adopted Prometheus. Prometheus has wide applicability to monitor systems in and outside the Kubernetes and cloud-native ecosystem.

Fluentd is an open source data collector for unified logging layer with an ecosystem of 500+ plug-ins and used by companies from Amazon to Microsoft to Nintendo.

Kubernetes: the “distributed” Linux (or POSIX) of the cloud

JAXenter: Kubernetes is very popular right now and some people seem to think that it has already won the orchestration war. Why is Kubernetes more successful than the other candidates?

Chris Aniszczyk: The project has huge advantages, both on the technical and community fronts. Kubernetes issued four releases in 2017. The latest 1.9 release includes a stable core workloads API, beta support for Windows server containers so users can run Windows-based and .Net-based containers on Kubernetes.

The project also made huge gains with cloud-native storage by enabling CSI support. This makes it easier for storage vendors to support Kubernetes and creates more storage options and openness for end users. Also, compared to the 1.5 million projects on GitHub, Kubernetes is No. 9 for commits and No. 2 for authors/issues, second only to Linux.

JAXenter: Kubernetes’ popularity is likely to grow even stronger this year —  does it have what it takes to become lingua franca?

Chris Aniszczyk: Kubernetes is defined by many as one of the highest velocity projects in the history of open source, so I think it absolutely has what it takes. Reaching milestones like 11,258 contributing developers, 75,000+ commits on GitHub, and 158,000 members in global Meetup groups show how vibrant and far-reaching the community is.

Organizations like Uber, Bloomberg, Blackrock, BlaBlaCar, The New York Times, Lyft, eBay, Buffer, Ancestry, GolfNow, Goldman Sachs and many others use Kubernetes in production at massive scale. Three of the largest cloud providers offer their own managed Kubernetes services. Furthermore, according to Redmonk, 71 percent of the Fortune 100 use containers and more than 50 percent of Fortune 100 companies use Kubernetes as their container orchestration platform.

SEE ALSO: What’s coming in 2018: “We’ll see an increased dominance of Kubernetes”

JAXenter: Mesosphere added Kubernetes support on its DC/OS platform and Apache Spark did the same with 2.3, its most recent release; even Docker is finally embracing it. Are there any other peaks to conquer?

Chris Aniszczyk: I’m thrilled to see Docker, Mesos and Spark integrate with Kubernetes as I think they go together like peanut butter and jelly. I expect to see other big data and AI/ML projects embrace Kubernetes as they look to scale their workloads and simplify the lives of running different types of workloads in production.

In my mind, Kubernetes can remain the piece of boring infrastructure while all these technologies and companies can build their value on top of a stable base. The best analogy here is that Kubernetes becomes the “distributed” Linux (or POSIX) of the cloud as users just want their workloads to run everywhere, without having to test their applications or those from Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) against every Kubernetes environment.

In terms of other peaks to conquer, I look forward to AWS announcing general availability of EKS and it becoming a Certified Kubernetes later this year.

Thank you!


Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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