Helping Developers Get Started With Cloud Native Development
Wednesday, May 04, 2016
Chris Aniszczyk, interim executive director of Cloud Native Computing Foundation at The Linux Foundation, reached out to us to discuss the Foundation’s work towards the development of a new set of common container technologies.
ADM: CNCF was recently formed in June 2015. Why was it created and what do you hope to accomplish?
Aniszczyk: The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) was inspired by the trend towards Internet-scale development container technologies (think Kubernetes and Mesos) and the needs to harmonize here.
In the past, only a small number of companies who have been willing and able to make significant investments in development and operations have been able to benefit from this new model of cloud native computing. It has been out of reach for the average developer and company. We aspire to make the same technologies that solved challenging scalability and efficiency problems for internet scale companies available to all.
ADM: For developers, what are the key benefits of CNCF?
Aniszczyk: The developer tools around cloud native are currently not built fully and/or not harmonized under a neutral foundation yet. CNCF plans to get behind a number of initiatives that will make it much easier for developers to get started with cloud native development, on top of providing a neutral home for these projects.
ADM: The term “Cloud Native” is still relatively new, how do you define it?
Aniszczyk: The CNCF’s mission is to create and drive the adoption of this new cloud native computing paradigm. Cloud native systems feature these properties:
- Container packaged: Running in application containers as a unit of application deployment and as a mechanism to achieve high levels of resource isolation in order to improve the overall developer experience, foster code reuse and simplify operations.
- Dynamically managed: Actively scheduled and managed by a central orchestrating process to radically improve machine efficiency, while reducing the cost associated with maintenance and operations.
- Micro-services oriented: Loosely coupled with dependencies explicitly described through service endpoints with the goal of significantly increasing the overall agility and maintainability of applications.
ADM: What are the consequence of not being able to bridge the gap between traditional IT and cloud-native applications?
Aniszczyk: Businesses could fall considerably behind. Companies are realizing that they need to be a software company, even if they are not in the software business. For example, Airbnb is revolutionizing the hospitality industry and more traditional hotels are having to keep up.
Cloud native allows IT and software to move faster, so companies can keep up. To adopt a set of cloud native technologies and practices will enable companies to create software in-house - business people working with IT people - to actually keep up with competitors like Airbnb, and deliver better services to their customers. Therefore, the obvious benefit to end users is you will get better services.
ADM: You recently added Kubernetes technology to CNCF, what other technologies does CNCF hope to add in the future?
Aniszczyk: While Kubernetes is the first project CNCF is focusing on, we expect many more to make up the technology portfolio for this group. To make cloud native work, we need a variety of open source projects. It's essentially a whole new platform, so we are looking at technologies that are/can be interoperable to make up this new computing platform.
ADM: How many members and contributors do you have? How big is the community?
Aniszczyk: We currently have about 50 members across membership levels.
ADM: Does CNCF overlap with Open Container Initiative (OCI)?
Aniszczyk: CNCF is simply a consumer of the technology being developed in the Open Container Initiative (OCI). OCI is working on developing a standard runtime and image format which CNCF will consume. CNCF is more concerned with what you do with the containers once they are standardize, how do you run them, stitch them together and manage them. In the end, we plan to closely collaborate with the OCI community.
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