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HomeArchitectureThe Cloud Native Computing Foundation: 8 Key developments in the past year

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation: 8 Key developments in the past year

Imagine a future where innovation is the norm and technology is always evolving. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) has established itself as a guiding force in cloud native innovation, consistently spearheading new developments and raising the bar. The CNCF’s projects have been at the forefront of this shift as we find ourselves relying on cloud-native solutions more than ever. In this post, we look at eight moments that changed the course of the CNCF’s eventful year. This shows how the CNCF is not only embracing change but also making its mark on the rapidly changing world of cloud-native technology.

Kubernetes enhancements

The Kubernetes community released version 1.25 in August 2022, adding several notable enhancements. Support for the Windows container runtime broadens Kubernetes’ reach into the Microsoft ecosystem, allowing Kubernetes clusters to run Windows and Linux containers side-by-side. HorizontalPodAutoscaler configurations can now be customized, enabling more granular control over autoscaling to fit specific workload needs. Velero backup plugins expand data protection capabilities for complex deployments, providing flexibility for backups of volumes, databases, etc. These and other updates demonstrate Kubernetes’ continued momentum.

Istio service mesh improvements

Istio 1.14 arrived in May 2022, improving upon the project’s impressive traffic routing, security and observability features. Strict mutual TLS enables stricter security posture configurations, helping secure service-to-service communication. WebAssembly filters allow extending Envoy proxy functionality safely and efficiently, enabling capabilities like custom protocol support and enhanced metrics. Reduced overhead and faster deployments improve performance and resource usage. These updates reinforce Istio’s capabilities for production deployments.

Prometheus monitoring enhancements

Prometheus maintained its standing as the go-to monitoring and alerting toolkit with the launch of version 2.36. A standout addition was the introduction of “exemplars” – enriched alerts accompanied by detailed event context. This innovation significantly expedited issue analysis and resolution, empowering operators to pinpoint problems more effectively. The inclusion of TSDB stats and query API enhancements highlighted Prometheus’ maturity and its expanding role in monitoring diverse environments.

Vitess for MySQL scaling 

June 2022 witnessed the emergence of Vitess 7.0, a release that addressed the complexities of managing extensive MySQL environments. Notable enhancements included refinements in SQL parsing to accommodate MySQL 8+ syntax, broadening the scope of supported database features. The incorporation of JSON support enabled Vitess to manage a more diverse range of data types. Furthermore, the introduction of horizontal resharding streamlined schema migrations, minimizing administrative complexities. In an era of burgeoning MySQL usage, Vitess emerged as a cornerstone solution offering scalability, robust management, and unwavering reliability for production use cases.

OpenTelemetry reaches 1.0

A pivotal moment arrived in February 2022 with the release of OpenTelemetry version 1.0. This marked the General Availability (GA) of OpenTelemetry’s core components, delivering unified APIs for metrics, logs, and traces. This standardization streamlined the process of instrumenting applications for observability, irrespective of the underlying complexity. OpenTelemetry’s significance lies in its ability to provide a consistent way to collect and process telemetry data across a wide spectrum of environments.

Harbor adds security and standards

In its ongoing evolution, Harbor, an open-source registry and artifact manager, unveiled version 2.5, introducing critical security enhancements and compliance features. The integration of image vulnerability scanning based on Grype provided a robust layer of security hygiene, identifying potential vulnerabilities in container images. The adoption of OCI support ensured that images and artifacts adhered to industry standards, bolstering Harbor’s reputation as a dependable solution for enterprises with stringent security requirements.

Project Graduations: KubeVirt and Chaos Mesh

The CNCF community also recognized the maturity and adoption of two key projects. KubeVirt enables running virtual machines on Kubernetes clusters, side-by-side with containers, expanding the use cases Kubernetes can support. Since entering CNCF incubation in 2018, KubeVirt has rapidly evolved into a stable, feature-rich platform for VM management on Kubernetes. Its graduation validates it as an enterprise-ready solution that users can depend on. Chaos Mesh offers a Kubernetes-native chaos engineering platform that lets developers test system resilience by injecting failures into their environments. Since joining CNCF in 2020, Chaos Mesh has quickly gained popularity for its comprehensive approach to chaos testing in cloud-native apps. Additions like Chaos Studio for easy visualization further improved the project. Strong adoption from users like PingCAP helped demonstrate Chaos Mesh’s production readiness. With KubeVirt and Chaos Mesh now graduating, CNCF has expanded its portfolio of graduated projects that users can confidently deploy for business-critical applications. This also highlights the expanding scope of technologies CNCF is stewarding to fulfill key enterprise needs around Kubernetes.

Falco reaches incubation

The CNCF community expanded its scope into the critical area of security in May 2022 with the addition of Falco as an incubation project. Falco provides runtime security monitoring, threat detection, and alerting tailored for Kubernetes and cloud-native environments. As cloud-native applications and infrastructure grow more complex, Falco’s capabilities for detecting anomalous behavior and intrusion attempts in real-time fill an increasingly important role in the cloud-native security toolkit. Falco’s incubation acceptance reflects CNCF’s broader push to ensure security is a first-class concern across its cloud-native landscape.

Final thoughts

The developments across the CNCF landscape over the past year illustrate the accelerating pace of innovation in the cloud-native ecosystem. As the mass migration to the cloud continues, CNCF projects remain indispensable compasses guiding the way forward. Kubernetes’ ongoing enhancements reinforce its position as the orchestration engine of the cloud-native world. Meanwhile, the expansions into security, virtualization, chaos engineering, and other areas demonstrate CNCF’s commitment to comprehensively support enterprise needs. While the journey is far from over, CNCF has already charted an ambitious course into the future of cloud-native computing. If the strides made over the past year are any indication, we can expect CNCF technologies to continue pushing boundaries and unlocking new possibilities in the years ahead.

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