The Beginner’s Guide to the CNCF Landscape


The cloud native landscape can be complicated and confusing. Its myriad of open source projects are supported by the constant contributions of a vibrant and expansive community. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) has a landscape map that shows the full extent of cloud native solutions, many of which are under their umbrella.

The CNCF Mission

The CNCF fosters this landscape of open source projects by helping provide end-user communities with viable options for building cloud native applications. By encouraging projects to collaborate with each other, the CNCF hopes to enable fully-fledged technology stacks comprised solely of CNCF member projects. This is one way that organizations can own their destinies in the cloud.

CNCF Processes

A total of twenty-five projects have followed Kubernetes and been adopted by the CNCF. In order to join, projects must be selected and then elected with a supermajority by the Technical Oversight Committee (TOC). The voting process is aided by a healthy community of TOC contributors, which are representatives from CNCF member companies, including myself. Member projects will join the Sandbox, Incubation, or Graduation phase depending on their level of code maturity.

Below I’ve grouped projects into twelve categories: orchestration, app development, monitoring, logging, tracing, container registries, storage and databases, runtimes, service discovery, service meshes, service proxy, security, and streaming and messaging. I’ve provided information that can hopefully help companies or individuals evaluate what each project does, how it’s evolved over time, and how it integrates with other CNCF projects.

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