Though the Kubernetes container orchestration system has been widely deployed at scale in production around the world, it wasn't until March 6 that the project graduated from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation's (CNCF) incubator.
The CNCF's process brings projects in as incubated projects and then aims to move them through to graduation, which implies a level of process and technology maturity. Kubernetes was the founding project for the CNCF, which was launched back in July 2015.
Google contributed Kubernetes to the CNCF in an effort to help build a more diverse community of contributors and to spur adoption.
"With the project's rapid growth, broad participation from numerous organizations, cloud providers and users, and proven ability to operate at scale, the TOC readily endorsed Kubernetes moving on from incubation to graduate," Chris Aniszczyk, COO of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, stated. "It signals that Kubernetes is mature as an open source project and resilient enough to manage containers at scale across any industry in companies of all sizes."
The Growth and Maturation of Kubernetes
Even prior to the official graduation, the CNCF already had multiple sophisticated programs in place to encourage Kubernetes adoption. In November 2016, the CNCF announced an initial set of training and certification programs for Kubernetes. At the CloudNativeCon event in December 2017, Dan Kohn, executive director of the CNCF, stated that over 16,000 students registered in Kubernetes training from EdX.
Looking beyond just training, the CNCF announced the Kubernetes Certified Service Provider program in September 2017, and it had 25 partners by November 2017. Going a step further, the CNCF launched the Certified Kuberenetes Program in November 2017.
Among the members of the CNCF Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) that voted to move Kubernetes to graduation status was none other than Docker creator himself, Solomon Hykes.
"Hats off to the maintainers, sustaining this kind of growth without compromising quality and consistency of design is much harder than it looks," Hykes wrote in a mailing list message.
A New Sandbox Level in the Incubator
As the CNCF now has its first graduated project with Kubernetes, the CNCF TOC also voted to adjust its project flow to start with a "sandbox" level to replace what had originally been called the Inception project level.
In a call for a vote on the Sandbox model, Aniszczyk noted that Sandbox projects are early-stage efforts.
"In the case of Kubernetes, the Sandbox is intended as a home for projects that would previously have started in the Kubernetes Incubator," Aniszczyk wrote.
The sandbox will also be a home for new projects that are designed to extend one or more CNCF projects with functionality or interoperability libraries, and it can also be a place for independent projects that fit the CNCF mission and provide potential for a novel approach to existing functional areas.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.