Microsoft Expands Role In Cloud By Joining Cloud Native Computing Foundation – Forbes
Microsoft has been steadily expanding its relationship with and involvement in the cloud in recent years. Microsoft’s philosophy has evolved – somewhat rapidly – from a more or less Microsoft-centric approach to a broadly inclusive strategy that benefits both Microsoft and Microsoft customers. Last week Microsoft continued with the announcement that it has joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) as a Platinum member.
“Microsoft is committed to helping organizations of all sizes achieve more, and we see cloud native technologies and open development as a way to enable this,” said Corey Sanders, Partner Director, Microsoft Corp in a CNCF press release about the news. “We have contributed across many cloud native projects, including Kubernetes, Helm, containerd and gRPC, and plan to expand our involvement in the future. Joining the Cloud Native Computing Foundation is another natural step on our open source journey, and we look forward to learning and engaging with the community on a deeper level as a CNCF member.”
The CNCF membership follows Microsoft joining the Linux Foundation in 2016. A Microsoft blog post describes the move as a natural next step for Microsoft to invest in open source communities – particularly in the area of containers.
Once upon a time, Microsoft had a much more self-centered view of the world and built its product and marketing strategies around ways to keep customers inside a limited, Microsoft-centric world. I’m not entirely sure it’s a difference between the leadership of former CEO Steve Ballmer and current CEO Satya Nadella, but the transformation does appear to coincide with the transition in leadership. Regardless of the catalyst, Microsoft has shifted to a strategy that understands the complexity of the cloud and the value of open source tools and cross-platform cooperation.
The CNCF press release explains, “Over the past few years, Microsoft has become one of the biggest open source contributors. The company is currently a leading open source contributor on GitHub, open sourced .NET Core 1.0 and its software development kit, partnered with Canonical to bring Ubuntu to Windows 10, and works with CNCF member companies like Red Hat, SUSE and others to support their solutions in its products. Microsoft became a platinum member of the Linux Foundation in 2016 and contributes to a number of other Linux Foundation projects, including Node.js Foundation, OpenDaylight, the Open Container Initiative, the R Consortium, and the Open API Initiative.”
The evolution to a more inclusive view of the cloud is a primary factor in the continued success of Azure. In February, I wrote about how Microsoft Azure is helping ASOS streamline operations and achieve a competitive advantage. “Microservices–including container technologies like Docker—enable organizations to develop and deploy applications as smaller, more manageable components. Containers allow companies to be more agile, and are significantly easier to scale at the same time. The rollout is a major milestone for ASOS, which sees the cloud and micro services as the foundation of a multi-year transformation that will drive the next decade of the company’s story.”
Microsoft is contributing to and leading various open source projects that play a crucial role in the world of cloud computing and containers. Microsoft gaining a seat at the table as a Platinum member of CNCF will hopefully lead to better collaboration and help make the projects and the resulting tools and technologies better for everyone.