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Containers & Kubernetes

Google Cloud grants $9M in credits for the operation of the Kubernetes project

Kubernetes, the container orchestrator created and open-sourced here at Google, has experienced incredible development and adoption since it was introduced in 2014. Today, a reported 54% of Fortune 100 businesses use Kubernetes in some capacity and developers have made nearly a million comments on the project in GitHub.

Since Kubernetes’ inception, we’ve provided the cloud resources that support the project development—namely CI/CD testing infrastructure, container downloads, and other services like DNS, all running on Google Cloud Platform (GCP). And in that time, Kubernetes has become one of the world’s most popular open-source projects. To put it in perspective, just last month, the Kubernetes container registry we host served 129,537,369 container image downloads of core Kubernetes components. That’s over 4 million per day—and a lot of bandwidth!

In 2015, we contributed the project to the then newly formed Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) to help facilitate project management and develop an open, vibrant community of contributors. CNCF, under the direction of the Linux Foundation, helps nurture project growth—such as establishing a certified Kubernetes program that’s helped maintain a consistent experience across Kubernetes distributions, and guiding Kubernetes through the incubation process.

9 million reasons we’re dedicated to Kubernetes

As a testament to Kubernetes’ maturity, we’re excited to take the next step, and are opening the Kubernetes project's cloud resources up to contributors. We’re funding this move with a $9 million grant of GCP credits to the CNCF, split over three years, to cover infrastructure costs. In addition to the world-wide network and storage capacity required to serve all those container downloads, a large part of this grant will be dedicated to funding scalability testing, which regularly runs 150,000 containers across 5,000 virtual machines. Our goal is to make sure Kubernetes is ready to scale when your enterprise needs it to.

We believe that all aspects of a mature open-source project—including its testing and release infrastructure—should be maintained by the people developing it. In the coming months, all project operations will be transferred to be administered by members of the Kubernetes project (including many Googlers), who will take ownership of day-to-day operational tasks such as testing and builds, as well as maintaining and operating the image repository and download infrastructure. We’re glad to hear from project leaders on this front:

“Google’s significant financial donation to the Kubernetes community will help ensure that the project’s constant pace of innovation and broad adoption continue unabated. We’re thrilled to see Google Cloud transfer management of the Kubernetes testing and infrastructure projects into contributors’ hands—making the project not just open source, but openly managed, by an open community.” 

- Dan Kohn, Executive Director of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation

“I’m very happy to see Google include lead project contributors in the ongoing management of the Kubernetes testing and serving infrastructure so we can all help support this critically important part of the project together.” 

- Tim Hockin, Principal Software Engineer, Google Cloud and co-lead of the Kubernetes project

Developing Kubernetes in the open with a community of contributors has resulted in a much stronger and more feature-rich project. By sharing the operational responsibilities for Kubernetes with contributors to the project, we look forward to seeing the new ideas and efficiencies that all Kubernetes contributors bring to the project’s operations.

To learn more about today’s big news, please check out the CNCF announcement post.

If you’d like to try GCP for free, we offer various programs to help you get started. For teaching and academic research needs, see our Education Grants program. If you’re an early-stage company, see our Startup Program packages (now open to a wider range of startups). And for all, GCP offers $300 free credit for any product, including running the latest production-ready managed Kubernetes version 1.10 in Google Kubernetes Engine.