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AWS Boosts Open Source Chops, Joins Cloud-Native Group

Amazon Web Services (AWS) this week announced it has joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), underscoring its support for open source and cloud-native technologies.

An offshoot of the Linux Foundation, the CNCF incubates open source projects that are based on cloud-native computing technologies, which the group describes as having three characteristics: containerized, dynamically orchestrated and microservices-oriented.

The CNCF currently hosts 10 projects, including container runtime engines Containerd and Rkt, the Prometheus open source monitoring toolkit, the CoreDNS server and, notably, the popular Kubernetes container management platform.

As of this week, AWS is now a platinum member of the CNCF, alongside tech giants like Google, IBM and Microsoft (which joined the CNCF just two weeks ago). Adrian Cockcroft, head of cloud architecture at AWS, will also join the CNCF as a board member.

Cockcroft, who joined AWS last year, had previously worked at Netflix and was instrumental in overseeing that company's years-long migration to the AWS cloud. In a blog post Wednesday, Cockcroft said that the process of migrating Netflix's operations to AWS hinged on many cloud-native computing principles, including a focus on "on-demand delivery, global deployment, elasticity, and higher-level services."

"Back in 2009, I was working at Netflix, and the engineering teams were figuring out some new application architecture patterns we would need to migrate to AWS. Some of us had learned how to automate deployments at scale from time spent working at eBay, Yahoo, and Google. We also learned new ideas from [Amazon.com CTO] Werner Vogels and the AWS team. The result was a new set of fundamental assumptions that we baked into our architecture. In 2010, we started talking publicly about our cloud migration, and in 2012 we got the bulk of the platform released as a set of open source projects, collectively known as NetflixOSS," Cockcroft wrote.

"While we didn't invent most of these patterns, the fact that we gathered them together into an architecture, implemented it at scale, talked about it in public, and shared the code was influential in helping define what are often referred to as cloud native architectures."

The CNCF announcement identified Kubernetes as one of the projects that AWS specifically plans to contribute to as a member. While AWS has its own Docker-focused container management offering -- the Amazon EC2 Container Service that was launched in late 2014 -- there have been reports that the company is planning to branch out to the Google-backed Kubernetes platform, as well.

Cockcroft cited a CNCF survey in which nearly two-thirds of respondents already run Kubernetes on AWS.

"We have plans for more Kubernetes blog posts and code contributions, and think there are opportunities to propose existing and future AWS open source projects to be incubated by CNCF," he wrote.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for RCPmag.com and senior editor of AWSInsider.net.

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