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Amazon Web Services Joins Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)

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The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) has announced that Amazon Web Services (AWS) has joined the CNCF as a platinum member with the goal of accelerating the development and deployment of cloud native technologies in its market-leading public cloud.

As part of the membership, Adrian Cockcroft, vice president of Cloud Architecture Strategy at AWS, will join the CNCF's Governing Board, and Arun Gupta, principal open source technologist at AWS, will coordinate technical engagement with projects and working groups. The CNCF website states that now the five largest cloud providers - Amazon Web Services, Microsoft (Azure), Google (Cloud Platform), IBM (Bluemix), and Alibaba (Cloud) - are CNCF members, it "validates that cloud native and containers are the future of enterprise computing".

According to the CNCF Charter, cloud native computing uses an "open source software stack to deploy applications as microservices, packaging each part into its own container, and dynamically orchestrating those containers to optimize resource utilization". The CNCF hosts open source components of those software stacks including Kubernetes, Fluentd, linkerd, Prometheus, OpenTracing, gRPC, CoreDNS, containerd, rkt and the Container Networking Interface (CNI). The goal of the CNCF is to serve as the neutral home for collaboration across the industry's top developers, end users and vendors.

Although Amazon has historically been low-key about its open source work, the company has made numerous contributions to well-known open source projects including the Linux kernel, Docker, Apache Hive, Apache Hadoop, Chromium, jQuery, OpenMPI, and Apache MXNet. Amazon also joined The Linux Foundation in 2013, is a founding member of the Core Infrastructure Initiative and also contributes to several other Linux Foundation projects, including the Xen Project, Open Container Initiative (OCI), and the TODO Group.

A recent Medium post by Adrian Cockcroft states that AWS is interested in participating within several CNCF projects and working groups:

AWS were 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.

According to a recent CNCF survey, 63 percent of respondents run containers on AWS, up from 44 percent a year ago. AWS offers its own native EC2 Container Service (ECS) container scheduling service, and last year at the annual AWS re:invent conference annouced the release of Blox, a collection of open source projects for container management and orchestration on Amazon ECS. 

Several well-known companies are also running Kubernetes in production on AWS, including CNCF end user community participants NCSOFT, Ticketmaster, Vevo, and Zalando. AWS plans to take an active role in the cloud native community by contributing to Kubernetes and other cloud native technologies, and Arun Gupta has recently published several blog posts about his experiences with managing Kubernetes clusters on AWS.

Additional details can be found on the CNCF press release and Adrian Cockcroft's Medium post "Cloud Native Computing", and by following the @CloudNativeFdn and @AWSOpen Twitter accounts.

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