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CNCF wants to make Kubernetes ‘boring’

CNCF is about to kick off its its Copenhagen conference. The organisation wants to make containers less exciting and more straightforward

The Cloud Native Computing Forum’s (CNCF) annual European conference takes place between 2-4 May 2018, and its main goal for this year is to make Kubernetes and containers more straightforward and boring, according to Dan Kohn, executive director of CNCF.

Speaking to Computer Weekly prior to KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2018, he said: “We see ourselves following the track Linux started. Kubernetes is like Linux for the cloud. It provides a better way to do infrastructure software development.”

About 10 years ago, Kohn said companies started realising they could achieve massive savings using virtual machines (VMs). “Now virtualisation is being disrupted by containerisation,” he said. “Businesses don’t want to pay a VM tax per server and are extremely interested in open source software stacks.”

He said more and more areas of IT infrastructure are being optimised for cloud native computing such as security, messaging buses, monitoring and logging (Prometheus). “But we are not trying to say we are an ERP. It is a cloud operating system – good enough for a tonne of companies to be using it.”

“The CNCF landscape is a pretty complicated model,” said Kohn. “Our prediction is the opposite. All the CNCF services will be completely standardised. For us, over next 12 months, boring is good. We will have a standard way to deploy software and focus on carrier networking.”

In the past, there has been a sense that CNCF is predominantly focused on IT businesses. But Kohn said this is changing. “We have 207 members and 50 are end-user companies.” Members include eBay, New York Times, Reddit, Bloomberg and Ticketmaster.

“It gives us a reality check. We have monthly user community meetings,” said Kohn. “We ask the group of users what they want to see in CNCF. These companies are making real multi-million dollar bets and providing us with feedback.”

Read more about containerisation

  • The maturity of containers has given the IT industry a new architectural approach to engineer applications using microservices. We look at whether it is ready for the enterprise.
  • The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) has established a mission which centres around what it calls “sustaining and integrating” open source technologies to orchestrate containers.

In Kohn’s experience, end-user companies can use a wide range of products as they build out their containerisation strategy. “Before Kubernetes, they packaged their existing software,” he said. For users, CNCF sees its role as building in more infrastructure to simplify deploying containers.

The telcos remain the last bastion of virtual machines, and Kohn regards the telecommunications sector as a prime target for containerisation and the CNCF software stack.

Read more on Containers

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