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Knative, a Google-led open source platform for building and managing serverless workloads in Kubernetes environments, is now part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).

The CNCF is a Linux Foundation project that focuses on advancing Kubernetes and other open-source projects that are critical to the world’s technology infrastructure. Members include tech titans such as Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

Google first released Knative back in 2018 and was designed to enhance developer productivity through removing the resource-intensive tasks of provisioning and managing servers. Knative serves as the building blocks required to build and deploy container-based serverless applications across clouds, and it was developed in tandem with the likes of VMWare, IBM and SAP.


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In the intervening years, major companies from Alibaba and Bloomberg to VMWare and IBM have used Knative in production applications, and back in November Knative officially reached version 1.0, meaning that it was now deemed suitable for commercial use. Shortly after, Google submitted Knative to the CNCF for consideration, and that process was completed earlier this week, which means that Knative is now officially part of the CNCF as an incubating project.

In the cloud

From Google’s perspective, donating Knative to the CNCF creates a stronger sense of independence around the project, given that stewardship now sits squarely with a “neutral” third-party — and this, in turn, could foster a more thriving community and encourage contributions from a wider array or developers. However, Google does still remain the project’s core contributor, and on top of that, the company was quick to point out that it offers commercial services on top of open-source projects such as Knative.

“Google endeavors to continue supporting the project with a diverse set of maintainers as members of the Knative community, and to offer compatible services to customers,” noted Alexandra Bush, Google Cloud’s head of open source marketing and community, in a blog post. “At Google, we build managed services based on open source technologies directly into Google Cloud so developers don’t have to be experts, and can seamlessly port and deploy their applications to the cloud when ready.”

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