AWS joined CNCF as a platinum member, with Adrian Cockcroft, VP of cloud architecture strategy at AWS joining the CNCF governing board. Cockcroft in a statement linked the move to the growing use of CNCF projects running on AWS Cloud.
CNCF currently hosts 10 projects, including Kubernetes for container orchestration; Prometheus for monitoring; Open Tracing for application flow monitoring; Fluentd for logging; Linkerd for service mesh; gRPC for remote procedure calls; CoreDNS for service discovery; Containerd and Rkt for container runtimes; and CNI for container native networking.
“From the AWS perspective, we are interested in several CNCF projects and working groups,” Cockcroft said in a blog post. “AWS were [sic] founding members of the Containerd project; we are excited about participating in the Containerd community, and have lots of ideas around how we can help our customers have a better experience. Our forthcoming ECS Task Networking capabilities are written as a CNI plugin, and we expect CNI to be the basis for all container-based networking on AWS.”
Seat at the Table
The more interesting work for AWS could be with Kubernetes. In a recent CNCF survey, 63 percent of respondents said they hosted Kubernetes on Amazon’s EC2 platform, which was an increase from 44 percent the previous year.
AWS last month was reported to be looking at developing its own Kubernetes-based container management tool. A report in The Information, citing anonymous sources who do business with AWS, said “AWS is feeling threatened” by Kubernetes’ popularity “and they don’t own it.”
“We have plans for more Kubernetes blog posts and code contributions, and think there are opportunities to propose existing and future AWS open source projects to be incubated by CNCF,” Cockcroft said of AWS’ plans with CNCF.
Analysts noted AWS needed to follow its peers in moving closer to Kubernetes development.
“Amazon wants to make sure it has a seat at the table for Kubernetes and CNCF,” said Edwin Yuen, analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. “I am not sure it’s a wholesale stamp of approval for Kubernetes from Amazon as they still have EC2, but with most of the other cloud providers now part of CNCF, Amazon needs to be part to have a say.”
Yuen said in the near term it’s likely AWS will look to ease integration of Kubernetes into its platform “and make sure everything goes together seamlessly.”
CNCF Gains Steam
AWS joining CNCF comes on the heels of Microsoft last month joining the organization as a platinum member. As part of that move, Gabe Monroy, lead program manager for containers on Microsoft’s Azure team and former Deis CTO, joined CNCF’s governing board.
Microsoft made waves late last year when it joined the Linux Foundation as a platinum member. While citing long-term work on Linux-based open source platforms, the company had not been a vocal proponent of open-source platforms.
In fact, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had at one time called Linux “a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.” He had moderated that view in recent years.
Google originally developed Kubernetes through its Borg platform, before spinning off the platform into the open source community under its current title in 2015.
Yuen said the recent big-name additions bolster CNCF’s position as a central focal point for ongoing Kubernetes work.
“For CNCF it’s good to have more of these organizations under their umbrella and coming together,” Yuen said. “It’s still to be seen if this will be everyone coming together to coordinate or for someone to be the driver. But, it at least puts CNCF in a position of traffic control to make sure there won’t be an accident along the way.”