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The first cloud-native conference, CloudNativeCon, which was held in Seattle November 8-9, 2016, was a sellout event that helped define a new approach to application development based on microservices and containerization. The same event ran concurrently with KubeCon, a conference for the Kubernetes community, and the combined conferences were organized by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). CNCF hosts key projects for the successful adoption of cloud-native technologies, which are the natural progression for organizations that want to take agile and DevOps-driven application development to the next level. CNCF will play an increasing role in supporting this adoption and in disseminating knowledge about the technologies. The launch of a reference cloud-native architecture at the event is one example of how CNCF will help developers.

CNCF hosts key open source projects for managing cloud-native technologies

CNCF was created by the Linux Foundation, with a growing membership across many well-known high-tech companies, and hosts a number of essential projects for managing cloud-native environments. These projects are:

  • Fluentd: logging solution.

  • Kubernetes: container orchestration and scheduling. Originally donated by Google, the project is now contributed to by 36% independent developers after Google’s 46%.

  • OpenTracing: a vendor-neutral open standard for distributed tracing.

  • Prometheus: metrics and monitoring solution.

The conference launched the Cloud Native End User Reference Architecture, v1.0 (see: CNCF also earlier this year opened a cloud hosting service for the development of cloud-native projects. It runs its own data center in Nevada for this purpose and the service is free for open source projects.

Enterprises should start getting to speed with cloud-native technologies because this paradigm will dominate the future of application development. Ovum recommends learning about cloud-native systems by creating proof-of-concept projects, and believes that enterprises should certainly consider this approach for all new products and services where agile and DevOps practices and culture are already established.

Defining cloud-native systems

The CNCF Charter defines cloud-native systems as having three fundamental properties:

  • Build applications with microservices architecture to create loosely coupled services and gain benefits such as scaling, as well being a perfect fit for DevOps continuous delivery.

  • Using containers to package applications and exploit the benefits of isolation and simplifying resource operations.

  • Uses an orchestration process to efficiently manage resources, which can also lower costs in maintenance and operations.

The cloud-native journey is a theme for Ovum’s 2017 research agenda.

Further Reading

Strategy Guide for Enterprises on the Containers IT Wave, IT0022-000711, August 2016.

Strategy Guide for Enterprises on the Serverless Computing IT Wave, IT0022-000763, September 2016.

Strategy guide for enterprises on the microservices architecture IT wave, IT0022-000702, July 2016.



Michael Azoff, Principal Analyst, Ovum Infrastructure Solutions Group

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