A new foundation, the CD Foundation, has been formed under the auspices of the Linux Foundation to serve as the home base for a vendor-neutral movement committed to making it easier to build and reuse DevOps pipelines across multiple continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platforms.
The first projects to be hosted under the auspices of CD Foundation includes Jenkins, the open source CI/CD system, and Jenkins X, an open source CI/CD solution on Kubernetes. Both were developed by CloudBees. Netflix and Google, meanwhile, are contributing Spinnaker, an open source multi-cloud CD solution. Google is also adding Tekton, an open source project and specification for creating CI/CD components.
Founding members of the CD Foundation include Alauda, Alibaba, Anchore, Armory, Autodesk, Capital One, CircleCI, CloudBees, DeployHub, GitLab, Google, Huawei, JFrog, Netflix, Puppet, Red Hat, SAP and Snyk.
In this DevOps Chat we speak with Kohsuke Kawaguchi (aka KK), founder of Jenkins and CTO of Cloudbees, and Tracy Miranda, open source community director for CloudBees. They give us the insight behind the CD Foundation and what the future may be for Jenkins, JenkinsX and CloudBees.
As usual, the streaming audio is immediately below, followed by the transcript of our conversation. Enjoy!
Alan Shimel: Hello everyone. It’s Alan Shimel, DevOps.com. You’re listening to another DevOps Chat. Today’s DevOps Chat is about some big news that came out in the DevOps continuous integration/continuous deployment world, CI/CD. That is the founding of the CD Foundation and it’s part of the Linux Foundation. It was announced just this afternoon. I’m happy to be joined by a couple of folks from one of the founding members—really one of the pivotal founding members of the CD Foundation, CloudBees. From CloudBees, joining us, joining us today is Tracy Miranda, who is director of open source community at CloudBees, and none other than KK himself, founder of the Jenkins Project and community as well as founder and CTO of Cloudbees. Kohsuke, Tracy, welcome to DevOps Chat.
Kohsuke Kawaguchi: Thanks for having us again.
Shimel: Kohsuke, it’s always a pleasure to have you. Tracy, I know you’re new to this, but thank you for joining with us.
Tracy Miranda: Yeah, [inaudible].
Shimel: Guys, big news today. Linux Foundation starts the CD Foundation. CloudBees is one of the founding companies, and if I’m not mistaken, a board member of CD Foundation as well. Is that correct?
Kawaguchi: Yeah, exactly. We are part of what – I think 20.
Miranda: Yeah, I think we’re up to 23 members now.
Shimel: I think it might have been 25.
Miranda: Wow [chuckle] I think it’s continuously growing.
Shimel: It’s funny. I spoke to a few companies today after the announcement. They mentioned that they’d like to join in it. That’s for them. I’d like to understand and maybe, KK, this is a question for you. What was the motivation to turn Jenkins and Jenkins X – we’re talking about two significant projects – over to this new foundation and to the Linux Foundation?
Kawaguchi: From the Jenkins – I have multiple hats to wear in this, but from the Jenkins project perspective, a key part of it is we wanted to create this level playing field that creates – that accelerates the innovation in Jenkins family. The Jenkins family as you know, it’s been benefiting pretty much everyone in every organization, and there are a lot of companies with an eye on Jenkins. We want to drive them more into the project. We move the project forward together. In that way, I think we can do it faster. In case of Jenkins X, it’s been critically designed on a number of projects that’s coming out of the CNCF, which is a sister foundation that is also under the Linux Foundation. It made a lot of sense we’d be bringing these projects closer so that we can again collaborate faster. So those are, I think, very convincing obvious benefits for two projects.
Now the CTO of CloudBees, CloudBees has been the biggest contributor of behind the Jenkins project. This move made a lot of sense for us as well, because one, our customers rely on a lot of open source projects and ecosystem. When those foundational resource projects that’s driving is strong, then obviously that benefits CloudBees and our customers. I think that’s a fairly obvious move for us as well. Also importantly, we – well, I, talk to a lot of people in the – our customer and prospect organizations and those technical people understand the need and the benefits that the objectivity really brings. I often see them struggling while the rest of the organization around them. Here, I talk about things like money, people, and time to invest in these efforts. It make the necessary business impact.
I feel like a part of the role that I’m really looking forward for the CDF to play is to advocate the practice of continuously, elevate it beyond the technology practice. Again, like the CNCF for cloud-native, thereby we can make a bigger impact in the world. That’s the kind of thing a single vendor cannot very easily do because people automatically assume the intention behind these things, or a pitch behind them. Open Source foundation, there’s multiple vendors, and also the end user companies like _____ and _____ adds a lot of credibility and authenticity to that message. For all of these reasons, I think it’s kind of a no brainer, a win win win across the board. That’s how I think about it.
Shimel: I think that’s a great way of looking at it. Tracy, let me ask you, you’re the liaison to the open source community. In this case, we’re really talking about the Jenkins community and Jenkins X. How is this announcement – it’s kind of new still, but what’s been the feedback from the community on this?
Miranda: Yes, it’s been really, really positive. We’ve been talking to the Jenkins community, well, the Jenkins board members, Tyler and Kohsuke, the kickoff conversations over a year ago. Since I’ve come in as well, we’ve been keen to get everybody involved with how this would shape up. We’re hearing lots of exciting things. Some things we hadn’t even predicted at the beginning. So for example, Jenkins has a very emerging and very strong and enthusiastic Chinese community. They are super excited about using CDF as a way to really expand in China. I think we can look to that for new areas we want to expand into. So yeah, on the whole, very positive. Lots of enthusiasm which is fantastic.
Shimel: Absolutely. As a matter of fact, I’m somewhat familiar with the Jenkins community in China. One of our partners held the Beijing Jenkins Day while I was out there last year. So I had a chance to meet a lot of those folks firsthand. It was a very enthusiastic group. They’re doing great things there in DevOps and CD as well. I’m sure it’s been used as well as Jenkins X. Actually, one of the founders of the Jenkins X project was presenting there that day. He was in from Australia. It was very, very well received. Back to this, both for Tracy and KK, one of the things I think people really admired about CloudBees was it wasn’t the usual vendor open source project manager relationship.
So many of these open source projects that are managed by a single vendor tend to be run for the sole benefit of that vendor whether it be OpenCore or Razor-Razorblades kind of thing. Decisions are made for the benefit of the commercial vendor, oftentimes at the expense of the community. CloudBees was always above that. All these years there was an independent board. There was independent steering and governance of the Open Source community and project. With that already in place, KK, does that negate some of the reasons why you would need a separate foundation, or that just accelerates it?
Kawaguchi: Yeah, so thanks for the nice words. We’re already proud of the way we participate in Jenkins project. I think there are two factors to that. One is number of people who founded CloudBees. They all come from open source background, the _____ folks, RedHat folks. We share a lot of – it’s like a common body. And that really played a critical part in recognizing, understanding how open source community works. The other important part to call out is Jenkins project is not owned by CloudBees. It is an independent project with its own decision-making process. This project, mind you, it came out of the drama with – well, a certain company. I won’t name names.
Kawaguchi: So I think the people in the community felt really strongly about their independence. So we discussed it. So, in moving to CDF, many – well people are outside CloudBees, they also continue their _____ CloudBees. They’re also very anonymous desire and preference to come over to CDF because they see it as the next step of the governance to ensure this level playing field, which I touched on a little earlier. Then I think that’s been – that was seen as very valuable characteristic. I think the CloudBees has done good things over the past year _____ the project. I think it’s time to also codify and turn it into something more stable and fundamental. I think that’s what this move to CDF signifies.
Shimel: I think that’s true. I think there’s another element too, KK. When we look at the history of Jenkins, when something is so successful, you don’t see many contenders. That was true with Jenkins. When Jenkins burst on the scene – we don’t have to go into the history of it, but Jenkins burst on the scene, and it quickly became the dominant CI and then CD tool of choice, not only for the DevOps community, but for the software developing and ops communities. Everyone used Jenkins. Recently, in the last year or two, three years, we’ve seen other contenders coming up, many of them commercial.
Some of them have an open source, open core, kind of program business plan, but nevertheless, people had this, “Well, Jenkins is older, or it’s yesterday. This is tomorrow.” I think by putting it in a foundation like this, it guarantees a tomorrow. It’s the old, “So many eyes on the code, it has to be better” story. With so many hands in the pot, it has – it’ll accelerate faster. So that’s a good thing. I feel like we’re neglectful though. We should mention beyond Jenkins and Jenkins X, there was some other great software programs that were contributed to the CD foundation today, correct?
Miranda: Yes, that’s right. Would you like to hear a little bit more about those?
Shimel: Yeah, please.
Miranda: We’re super excited. One of the other projects is Spinnaker, is what Netflix originally put together for continuous delivery. That is a well-known, a well-loved project in this space. We were really excited they bought into the vision and wanted to be part of it. Then the other project, last year Google announced the Knative serverless platform. As part of that project, there’s a build and pipeline side of it which has been renamed to Tekton. Tekton is the pipeline and build part of – behind Knative. What’s really exciting about this project is that we’re looking as part of the vision of CDF to really focus on integration and sharing concepts and making tools work together. Tekton will be the pipeline engine, set the definitions for which Jenkins X are going to evolve to. Spinnaker are going to look at it too, and for Jenkins’ next generation pipeline, there’s lots of exciting things in the work. Just really excited about all the possibilities coming up.
Shimel: Sure. We should mention both Spinnaker and Tekton were contributed by Google.
Miranda: Google and Netflix for –
Shimel: And Netflix yes, for Spinnaker. But that’s not all. Once a technical oversight committee is formerly introduced, there may be other projects that are – come under the CDF management as well, correct?
Miranda: Yes. Absolutely. I think one of the things we outlined in the charter is we want to focus on the entire software delivery life cycle. We want to have a whole set of complimentary projects. So we’re looking – there’s some really exciting projects in the world of mobile and other areas as well. It’s not just cloud. So lots and lots of exciting projects out there. We look forward to welcoming and onboarding those as we develop, and as we get up and running properly.
Shimel: We should also – I just wanted to mention that some of the other companies involved as founding members of this CDF are Alibaba, Autodesk, Capital One, CircleCI, CloudBees, obviously, DeployHub, GET Lab, Google, Huawei, JFrog, Netflix, Puppet, Red Hat, SAP. These are household names out there. This really is a heavyweight list of contributors, and I think guys, that that really talks to just how important CI/CD has become in the modern software factory.
Kawaguchi: Like I said, it’s kind of on the cusp from growing from just the technology things to more bigger business impact. It took CloudBees all along, and so I’m really excited that this mission, this sense of passion is all shared by so many more companies. I think it makes the message a whole lot more critical.
Shimel: Here’s another flip side. As this frees up CloudBees to really focus in on the commercial side of things. Though you weren’t – CloudBees didn’t manage Jenkins. The community and the Jenkins community managed itself. CloudBees played a – obviously it was a big role helping – making sure – KK, you’re wearing two hats with that. Now that CloudBees is freed from that, what do you think we’ll start seeing from CloudBees going forward?
Kawaguchi: Actually, we are doing more than ever in open source. A number of key folks behind Nginx is at CloudBees _____. So just to make sure that this isn’t all a move by _____, trying to wash our hands away from it. In fact, it’s the opposite. At the last time also, CloudBees is getting bigger. We are working on a number of the products and services. So I don’t really see those things as mutually exclusive. I think everyone at CloudBees understands that those are both important parts of our business.
Miranda: Yeah, and if I add to that, well, this one specific example, the DevOptics project, which focuses a lot on analytics, and these key measures you’re doing your software delivery. That’s one area where CloudBees is going to do a lot more and you’re going to see a lot more, and it’s pretty exciting going up to that next level.
Shimel: Excellent. I would imagine you would. Tracy, if you don’t mind, this is going to be a change for you and how you deal with the open source community, or you think not really, not too much?
Miranda: No, absolutely. I think it’s going to be quite different. We’ve got lots of different people working together. I think that’s what makes it really exciting, just having the different perspectives, the different ideas. I always say like with open source, what I’m most excited about is the unexpected things that you don’t really know what they are until they happen, the innovation, or the two people getting together and saying, “Hey, let’s take things in this direction.” It’s so full of possibilities that it’s really exciting.
Shimel: I think it will be, and I think it’s going to be for sure. You know what, I haven’t read – who particularly from CloudBees is going to hold the board seat in the CD foundation? Has that been announced or decided?
Miranda: So I’ll be representing CloudBees at Board of Directors, but also Kohsuke is heading up the technical oversight committee, which means he will also be at the board level. We’ve modelled a lot of the charter and foundation rules off the CNCF where it made sense.
Shimel: Fantastic. That is really good. What about some of the other folks who are on the board of the Jenkins community board? People like Tyler and some of the other folks? Will they be – what will be their involvement going forward, if you know?
Kawaguchi: I think the charter will define the structure. It’s just got launched and we will, I think, in the coming days we will have people’s names and so on. I just don’t want to give the wrong information, but Tyler, for example, he’s been pretty instrumental in making this happen. So I expect him to stay involved in this going forward in some shape or form.
Shimel: Absolutely. I realize it’s only announced today. You don’t have all the answers, but I thought I’d ask. So final question because we’re running low on time here is one of the – you called the CNCF a sister foundation, it would be hard to argue that hasn’t been a really successful effort by the Linus Foundation, and not just Kubernetes. Kubernetes seems to be the star pupil, or star favored child. There’s a lot of projects within CNCF that are really, really doing well. CNCFCon along with KubeCon is – to me, it was the most exciting event I’d been to certainly within the last six months, certainly since Jenkins World. Will there be a similar type of event now for CD Foundation? Or maybe you pitch one grand tent with CNCF for one big conference? Any ideas on that?
Miranda: Well, first thing we have in place is that we are going to hold our very first continuous delivery summit. We’re going to co-locate that with the new KubeCon which is in Barcelona.
Shimel: In May.
Miranda: That’s right. Yeah, getting going quick. That will be our first opportunity to bring a lot of contributors together, a lot of the end user community as well. We just love the projects in CNCF. We want to continue collaborating closely with those folks. I think this will be a great first event. We did just hear today that there’s something like 12,000 people expected at that event in Barcelona. Big, big fans of CDCF.
Shimel: Yes. I will be there – we’ll be there doing videos. Hopefully, we’ll get to, Tracy, meet in person, maybe do some video interviews there in person.
Miranda: Yeah, that would be awesome.
Shimel: Yeah, that would be great. Then, we’ll – I forgot when the next one. Well, after that, the Shanghai in July, and then in the fall is KubeCon back in North America. Will this be an ongoing collaboration or is that – after that, you might do your own?
Kawaguchi: We don’t know that yet, I think.
Shimel: Still to be decided. All right, well guys, congratulations first of all, on all of the new today. This sounds just so god darned exciting. It’s good stuff. Kohsuke, what can I say, man? You just keep doing it. Congratulations. Keep it up. Tracy, congratulations. I guess we’ll be hearing a lot more about the CD Foundation in the months and year ahead.
Miranda: Yes, absolutely. Thanks so much, Alan. This has been wonderful.
Shimel: You know what? I sound like Colombo. One last question. You’re probably too young to remember that, but anyway, why not CI/CD Foundation? Is CI becoming passé, out of style, we don’t refer to it? Or we’re just so focused on CD? Any thoughts on that?
Kawaguchi: The practice that surround the continuous integration is still very much there. I just think of it as frontier moving on, and so therefore the concept is encompassing more and more. When we say continuous _____, so the _____ includes all of the things we talked about as CI. It just expanded into something bigger is how I think about it.
Shimel: Yeah, all right, fair enough. Guys, again, thanks so much, Tracy, KK. Kohsuke from CloudBees on the announcement of the Linux Foundation setting up the CD Foundation and Jenkins, Jenkins X part of it. This is Alan Shimel for DevOps.com, and you’ve just listened to a minute of DevOps Chat.