A lot has changed from the inception of Kubernetes to now. The biggest things that have changed are the refactoring and the abstractions on which people focus across the community. Notably, the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) release itself has changed a lot over the years. It has matured in many different ways, including the introduction of code signing, the ability to track go releases, and checking if they are a part of the latest release. Another interesting change can be witnessed with the release team itself. They have come a long way, too, in terms of defining each of the different roles that exist, eliminating the ones that didn’t make sense, or figuring out ways to automate certain things.
Originally designed by Google, Kubernetes is now governed and maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. The open-source project came into existence to consolidate everything from a cloud-native perspective. By being a vendor-neutral space, the project grew as a community of people contributed their time and efforts. While CNCF is run separately, it is housed under the LINUX foundation. This gives the project the ability to enjoy various benefits such as help with legalities, licensing, and work with the LINUX foundation research groups and teams. Although it is a project, the community works together by getting the word out to others to contribute.
The CNCF is built on three pillars —
- The governing board that handles the finances and the overall focus areas
- The projects and the Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) that administer and vote on the sandbox, incubating, and graduated projects
- The end-user ecosystem that works with the communities related to various projects
CNCF’s main focus is making cloud-native ubiquitous. CNCF plays host to various end-users within the ecosystem — sellers of the cloud-native solutions, consulting firms, financial groups, and automotive groups. With so many players within the system, it is important to find the best possible way to work together. It is not about one person working, but a group collectively coming together. And in order for this system to work, communication is key. To that end, we encourage community members to express their views. CNCF ecosystem thrives on feedback. Feedback from the community members helps the ecosystem find better ways to use these technologies, express new relevant workflows that can save time, and become more efficient, and secure.
Collaboration between different user groups within the ecosystem
Due to the presence of various users within the system, from large corporations to startups, communication and collaboration have been cited as two major areas of focus. Slack, email, and Google spreadsheets are some of the few choices available. However, not all organizations are allowed to use them. As a result, there is no single platform to communicate. Nonetheless, the community thrives on Slack and email, while some collaborate on Github. While most organizations prefer to outsource, it can also affect the gross profit margins. However, by leveraging open source projects, businesses can facilitate their higher-performing teams to get things done fast, thus improving time-to-market.
Recently, security has become an important point of discussion, particularly Log4j. Transparency and visibility on the project itself leads for more opportunities to call things out. CNCF ensures that all graduated projects and projects that are about to graduate are mandated for a security audit and an analysis. This helps find vulnerabilities that have come out for Kubernetes. Once identified, CNCF tries to fix the issue and announce it to the community. This process allows other users to become aware of the threats, unlike in a closed-source situation.
Why does open-source work?
Interestingly, CNCF as a community is about offering the best possible solutions through an open-source platform. One of the main reasons why open source communities work is their ability to collaborate. The community thrives on imparting education and learning. When a person downloads Kubernetes and works on it alone, he/she facing issues will need a support system. CNCF has a wonderful community of people who come together to explain to each other how to fix something. Having worked with Kubernetes, the members have firsthand knowledge of the expectations of the end-users. They recommend architectures and sample codes to ensure they run on cloud-native technologies together. While some work in companies, they also have a passion to work on a project and contribute; open-source communities are a great place to start. The community is made up of like-minded individuals who participate in creating resources that can be accessed by anyone from anywhere. Members of this community are not driven by monetary value but rather by their desire to build solutions that can help others free of cost.
Future of the ecosystem
Working on an open-source project requires courage and passion. While there is general fear around working in open source, there is always an opportunity to learn. Interestingly, the community is also expanding to other languages making it easier for people to collaborate better. The CNCF community is overwhelmingly welcoming to everyone who is bright, motivated, and has a keen interest in learning Kubernetes. It is a place of collaboration that does not hold anyone in contempt for not doing something perfectly. There is a whole group of people who will help and nurture if someone is stuck. It is not about entering with the perfect skill set but with a mainframe that is determined to grow and learn with others.
If you’d like to know more about the happenings in the CNCF, do watch our recent interview with Taylor Dolezal, Head of Ecosystem at CNCF.
If you have questions related to this topic, feel free to book a meeting with one of our solutions experts, mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.