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Cloud Native Computing Foundation


Cloud-Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)

Cloud-Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), an open-source software foundation, promotes cloud-native computing. The CNCF is a subsidiary of the Linux Foundation that was created in 2015. It aims to create a vendor-agnostic community for developers, end-users, and IT service providers to collaborate on open-source projects.

Cloud-native computing is defined by the CNCF as using open source software and technologies like containers and microservices to create and deploy scalable apps on cloud computing platforms.

CNCF projects

The technologies that the CNCF researches and creates are called projects, many of which are hosted on GitHub. Projects of CNCF go through three stages of maturity. The sandbox stage is the initial point of entry for projects. The incubating phase requires that a project meet all requirements of the sandbox, as well as additional criteria such as documentation from at least three end-users successfully deploying the project into production. Finally, the graduation stage requires that a project meet all requirements of the incubating step, as well as additional criteria such as the completion of a security audit.

The CNCF host’s projects that span the cloud-native software stack. CNCF projects include Kubernetes, a container orchestration platform; Prometheus, a systems monitoring and alerting tool; and Envoy, a service proxy for service-oriented architectures and cloud-native apps.

CNCF is responsible for maintaining the brands of available technologies and ensuring that community members use them appropriately. The foundation also stresses a uniform user experience (UX) and software compatibility.

The CNCF created a centralized continuous integration (CI) dashboard to ease the testing and management of multiple projects across cloud and bare-metal platforms.

CNCF Cloud Native Interactive Landscape

The CNCF Cloud Native Interactive Landscape (or Cloud Native Interactive Landscape) is a resource map that categorizes and filters hundreds of cloud-native tools and projects. It categorizes technologies based on their functionality. This includes scheduling, orchestration, and databases, as well as container registries. This interactive map was created by CNCF in collaboration with Redpoint Ventures, Amplify Partners, and to assist enterprises in navigating the complex technology ecosystem surrounding cloud-native app deployments.

CNCF created a Cloud-Native Trail Map that includes 10 steps and tool recommendations. This map was designed to help companies adopt a cloud-native strategy. These steps include:

  1. Containerization. CNCF recommends an enterprise start its journey by packing an application and all its dependencies into containers.
  2. CI/CD. A CI/CD pipeline automates code rollouts, testing, and simplifies the creation of new containers.
  3. Orchestration and Application DefinitionOrchestration. Orchestration is a process for automating tasks. Kubernetes, the most popular orchestration platform for containers, is it.
  4. Analyze and observe. Enterprises need to monitor, log, and trace the progress of an application. CNCF recommends Prometheus as a project for this purpose.
  5. Service Proxy, Discovery and MeshService discovery reduces the configuration effort required by administrators. CoreDNS is recommended by the CNCF to provide service discovery capabilities. Linkerd, Envoy, and Envoy are also suggested by the CNCF, which allow service mesh architectures.
  6. Policy and Networking. CNCF recommends that you use a network project such as Calico, Weave Net, to make networking more flexible. This project is compatible with the Container Networking Interface. Another CNCF project aims at configuring network interfaces within Linux containers.
  7. Distributed Database and Storage. The CNCF recommends that enterprises use larger databases to support cloud-native applications. Vitess is a clustering system that MySQL databases use to support and is recommended.
  8. Streaming and Messaging. The CNCF recommends the universal for enterprises that require high-performance streaming and messaging. Remote Procedure Call (RPC).Framework gRPC or multi-model messaging system NATS
  9. Container Registry and Runtime. The Cloud Native Trail Map recommends Harbor or containers for storing, signing, and scanning content.
  10. Software Distribution. CNCF recommends that enterprises look into Notary, which is a platform that offers high levels of trust over digital content, for secure software distribution.

Enterprises have the option to choose from the tools listed on the map or to use the interactive landscape for other options.

CNCF members

The CNCF currently has more than 400 members who have contributed to projects as of June 2019. CNCF members include public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft, as well as enterprise software companies like SAP and Oracle, and startups.

The five levels of membership are platinum, gold, and silver, academic/nonprofit, end-user, and academic/nonprofit. After reviewing all applications, the Linux Foundation classifies applicants as either end-user, academic/nonprofit, or vendors.

CNCF events and training

The CNCF organizes conferences and events to promote cloud-native computing education. The CNCF offers Kubernetes certifications such as Certified Kubernetes Application Developer, Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKAD), and Kubernetes Certified Services Provider (KCSP). There are also training courses that prepare you for certification exams.


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