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The success of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), part of the Linux Foundation (LF), has led LF to launch two new foundations in January 2019: LF Edge (for edge computing, discussed in another Ovum article) and the Continuous Delivery Foundation (CDF). The CDF's mission is to be a home for leading open source tools in a vendor-neutral environment that fosters collaboration and interoperability. Its focus is on continuous delivery (CD), but its scope is the broader continuous integration (CI)/CD space and DevOps in general. Four projects have already been donated: Jenkins, Jenkins X, Tekton, and Spinnaker. The CDF promises to make the essential DevOps pipeline fabric a technology that many other tools can easily plug into.

The CDF is the home of DevOps technology

The CDF has avoided the DevOps name as it believes the term has become too loose and undefined, perhaps like agile, but it is nevertheless at the core of DevOps. It is now home to the most popular CI/CD tool, Jenkins, as well as its cloud-native version, Jenkins X, and its competitor open source project Spinnaker. Tracy Miranda, Director of Open Source Community, expects to see more than one technology stack emerge in the CDF, with standardization across key components, such as pipelines, providing a key benefit.

Premier members include technology players CloudBees, Google, Huawei, and IBM, as well as end users such as Capital One. Expect to see more names, as it has only very recently been launched.

The relationship between the CDF and CNCF

Projects such as Jenkins X can clearly fit easily into either the CDF or CNCF. The CDF distinguishes itself from CNCF in that its scope is broader than cloud and embraces all non-cloud environments. CI/CD needs to be a seamless technology across all environments, and the CDF allows this to be a key focus for its membership.

A key donation to the CDF is the pipeline tool Tekton from Google

Tekton builds CI/CD pipelines and could become a standard for other CI/CD tools to use; it may well become to the CDF what Kubernetes is to CNCF – a central tool around which an ecosystem can grow. Tekton is also a Kubernetes-native framework, but it is designed to work in multiple environments: virtual machine (VM), serverless, cloud native, legacy, and mobile.



Michael Azoff, Distinguished Analyst, IT Infrastructure

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