Today, the CNCF Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) voted to accept Cortex as an incubation-level hosted project.

Cortex provides horizontally scalable, highly available, multi-tenant, long term storage for Prometheus.

“Cortex is an excellent addition to the CNCF landscape, and the community is very excited to welcome it as an incubating project,” said Katie Gamanji, CNCF TOC member, and cloud platform engineer at American Express. “Cortex has a well-constructed governance model, welcoming a growing and diverse contributor base. The roadmap encompasses features such as blocks-based storage and variable retention, reaffirming Cortex’s wide adoption by the end-user community.”

Cortex was started by Weaveworks as a hosted Prometheus solution led by Tom Wilkie and Julius Volz. Through the collective work of Weaveworks’ engineers, early adopters including Aspen Mesh, Freshtracks and Electronic Arts (EA), and Grafana Labs, Cortex was built into a scalable, fast, and easy to use solution for monitoring and long term storage in Prometheus. The project now has 8 maintainers from 4 different companies – Grafana Labs, Microsoft, Splunk, and Weaveworks.

Cortex is used in production by several organizations, including EA, Gojek, and Rewe Digital who use Cortex at a massive scale, meaning they use more than 15 million active series.

“We are thrilled that Cortex has moved from the sandbox to an incubation-level project,” said Tom Wilkie, Cortex maintainer. “A significant portion of the cloud-native world uses Prometheus for monitoring, so we built Cortex to leverage and extend its capabilities.”

Main Cortex Features:

  • Horizontally scalable: Cortex can run across multiple machines in a cluster. This enables you to send the metrics from multiple Prometheus servers to a single Cortex cluster and run “globally aggregated” queries across all data in a single place.
  • Highly available: When run in a cluster, Cortex replicates data between machines. This allows you to survive machine failure without gaps in your graphs.
  • Multi-tenant: Cortex can isolate data and queries from multiple different independent Prometheus sources in a single cluster, allowing untrusted parties to share the same cluster.
  • Long term storage: Cortex supports Amazon DynamoDB, Google Bigtable, Cassandra, S3, GCS, and Microsoft Azure for long term storage of metric data. This allows you to durably store data for longer than the lifetime of any single machine, and use this data for long term capacity planning.

Notable Milestones:

  • 379 contributors from 22 companies
  • More than 23k contributions
  • Nearly 6k commits
  • 3k GitHub stars

Earlier this year, Cortex reached version 1.0, which introduced stability guarantees around APIs, configuration, and managing the software, improved documentation, and made the project easier to use.

“The Cortex team has come a long way with version 1.0, growing the community, and making it truly easier to adopt,” said Chris Aniszczyk, CTO of Cloud Native Computing Foundation. “We are delighted to see the community collaborating and cultivating with sister communities like Prometheus and Thanos.”

Cortex is built on CNCF projects, including Prometheus, Kubernetes, Jaeger, OpenTracing, and gRPC. Beyond integrating with Prometheus and Kubernetes, the team works closely and collaborates with CNCF incubating project Thanos in several areas. This is further aided by the overlap of Prometheus, Cortex, and Thanos maintainership and code, and close coordination between all three projects.

As a CNCF hosted project, joining incubating technologies like OpenTracing, gRPC, CNI, Notary, NATS, Linkerd, Rook, etcd, OPA, CRI-O, TiKV, CloudEvents, Falco, Argo, Dragonfly, and SPIFFE and SPIRE, Contour, and Thanos, Cortex is part of a neutral foundation aligned with its technical interests, as well as the larger Linux Foundation, which provides governance, marketing support, and community outreach.

Every CNCF project has an associated maturity level: sandbox, incubating, or graduated. For more information on maturity requirements for each level, please visit the CNCF Graduation Criteria.

To learn more about Cortex, visit https://cortexmetrics.io/.