The CNCF Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) has voted to accept Crossplane as a CNCF incubating project. Crossplane is an open source Kubernetes add-on that enables modern organizations to consume infrastructure through an open, community-driven, and standards-based universal control plane. This control plane approach, first pioneered by the Kubernetes community, is transforming how platform teams automate infrastructure and empower developers to build faster through self-service provisioning.

With Crossplane, platform teams easily compose their own opinionated cloud APIs without having to write any code. Operators then offer it to their application teams as a self-service Kubernetes-style declarative API. Infrastructure provisioned through Crossplane is continuously reconciled, simplifying day 2 operations and eliminating configuration drift.

The project was created and open sourced by a team at Upbound in late 2018. It was accepted into the CNCF Sandbox in June 2020. Since then, Crossplane reached v1.0, its first major milestone, which declared it stable and ready to be used in production. It is now used in production environments, including Accenture, BBD, CloudCheckr, Deutsche Bahn, DFDS, Mothership, Plotly, PTC, RipCord, Squiz, VSHN, Zego, and many more. It has also seen consistent community growth, including a 12x increase in container downloads, tripling of contributors, and 4x growth of Slack members. 

“Crossplane becoming an incubating CNCF project is an important milestone towards further maturity of the project and its wider adoption across the industry,” said Nima Kaviani, principal solutions architect at AWS. “As more companies move their workloads to Kubernetes, demand for the use of GitOps and declarative provisioning of infrastructure resources is also increasing. We have seen companies commit to modernization efforts that lend themselves to a declarative, API-centric, and unified rollout strategy across the entire software stack. Crossplane’s extension of Kubernetes control plane with XRDs and CRDs, utilizing Kubernetes operators to interface with cloud provider APIs, and now its growth in maturity, make the technology a perfect fit in such modernization efforts. I am very excited about all the collaboration between AWS and Upbound thus far and eager to witness what is coming next for the Crossplane community.” 

“Cloud computing is becoming increasingly heterogeneous with enterprises consuming resources and services from multiple vendors and across public, private, and hybrid environments,” said Bassam Tabbara, CEO of Upbound and Crosplane project maintainer. “Crossplane is a proven control plane approach that enables a single point of control for applications and infrastructure across teams, tenants and clouds.”

“Crossplane provides an open and extensible approach to building providers for different clouds,” said Paolo Dettori, senior technical staff member of IBM research. “IBM sees great value in the open ecosystem Crossplane has enabled by extending the Kubernetes control plane to manage external resources and on the power of custom compositions for building developer-friendly resource abstractions.”

“It’s been amazing to watch Crossplane grow from just an idea to powering the infrastructures of large companies in their production deployments,” said Jared Watts, Crossplane maintainer. “As we take our next steps into incubation with CNCF, I’m beyond excited to continue working with our amazing and ever-growing community that’s bringing a lot of passion and great ideas to the project.”

Crossplane collaborates, aligns, and integrates with several CNCF projects. A key foundation is standardizing on the Kubernetes API and bringing infrastructure management to its control plane, serving as a central point for integrating with the rest of the ecosystem. The team is also partnering with all the major cloud providers, such as AWS, Azure, GCP, and others, and collaborates with OPA, Falco, NATS, Linkerd, and more.

“I’m excited to have CNCF helping us to lower the barrier to build bespoke, API-centric developer platforms,” said Nic Cope, Crossplane maintainer. “My background is in SRE, so I’ve seen firsthand how hard it is to adapt an off-the-shelf, opinionated tool to your company’s needs and how tough it is to roll your own from scratch. I’m proud that Crossplane has been able to help reduce the operational burden of so many SREs and Platform Teams.”

“Crossplane brings key cloud native concepts and the operator pattern to cloud and infrastructure resources, which will be essential for full-stack adoption of cloud native patterns,” said Lei Zhang and Ricardo Rocha, CNCF TOC members, and project sponsors. “We’re excited to see how the project can capitalize on its momentum and continue the growth of production users and adoption of its XRM format as part of the CNCF Incubator.” 

Notable Milestones:

“Kubernetes and cloud native projects have demonstrated that multi cloud innovation is possible and truly a reality in manproduction environments,” said Chris Aniszczyk, CTO of CNCF. “The industry is ready for cross-cloud managed services through Crossplane’s innovative approach that allows you to build your own control plane with internal infrastructure abstractions on top of CRDs.”

The team has several new features on the project roadmap. It will continue to invest in code generation pipelines to expand the surface area of resources supported by Crossplane and its providers and add Custom Compositions to allow users to express custom logic to generate their platform abstractions using tools of their choice.

As a CNCF-hosted project, Crossplane is part of a neutral foundation aligned with its technical interests and the larger Linux Foundation, which provides governance, marketing support, and community outreach. Crossplane joins incubating technologies Argo, Buildpacks, CloudEvents, CNI, Contour, Cortex, CRI-O, Dragonfly, emissary-ingress, Falco, Flux, gRPC, KEDA, KubeEdge, NATS, Notary, OpenTelemetry, Operator Framework, Rook, SPIFFE, SPIRE, and Thanos, For more information on maturity requirements for each level, please visit the CNCF Graduation Criteria.