June was a busy event month, as CNCF participated in Open Source Summit North America shortly after RSA. OSS Summit took place in Austin, Texas, and virtually from anywhere in the world. At the event, Taylor Dolezal, Head of Ecosystem, gave a presentation titled “Wandering in the Wonders of the End User Community” (recording coming soon). 

We sat down with Taylor to better understand CNCF’s End User Ecosystem and how you can get involved, as well as get his thoughts on key takeaways and highlights from the show: 

Q: What is an end user?

End Users within the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) are member companies that use cloud native technologies internally, do not sell any cloud native services externally, and aren’t vendors, consultancies, training partners, or telecommunications companies. 

Individuals within these end user companies are passionate about solving problems using cloud native architectures and providing teams with self-service solutions which create a more inclusive, iterative process.

Q: Can you explain what end user driven open source is?

End user driven open source focuses on strengthening and empowering the maintainers of open source projects and providing a feedback loop with communities adopting these architectures or frameworks. We want end users to feel entitled to coordinating and driving activities vital to them while avoiding undue influence, bad behavior, or “pay-to-play” decision-making.

Q: What were some popular “hallway track” topics at Open Source Summit? 

At Open Source Summit, there were many conversations with folks about supply chain security, FinOps, and WebAssembly (Wasm).

After many recent attacks, supply chain security is an incredibly relevant topic, and teams are looking for solutions that provide certainty and security when working with software dependencies. A free course, “Securing Your Software Supply Chain with Sigstore,” was released during the summit, which helps in showing how workflows with Sigstore can help you provide better supply chain security within your organization.

FinOps is a cultural practice that encourages everyone in an organization to take ownership of their cloud usage, supported by a central best-practices group. The FinOps foundation hosted a co-located event, FinOps X, and released their State of FinOps 2022 report with exciting findings around culture, tooling, and challenges.

Last but certainly not least was a lot of talk about frameworks for building, deploying, and running fast, secure, and composable cloud microservices with WebAssembly. Fermyon had an incredible game at their booth, Finicky Whiskers, which helped demonstrate how one can architect applications within this new paradigm. I observed most people testing the “world’s most adorable manual load generator”  on their phones and tablets during a break in the action during the summit.

Q: What resources or references would you recommend for someone new to cloud native?

The cloud native ecosystem can be a daunting, sprawling place when you first get started! Many fantastic references exist to help you learn about the many contexts of cloud native workflows. 

One great place to start is the CNCF Contributors website, which gives information about how to be a maintainer or a contributor and provides templates, runbooks, and guidance on understanding motivations and encouraging people in their contributions. 

Another great resource is the Cloud Native Landscape, which can be slightly intense at first glance. The Cloud Native Landscape acts as a map that helps you identify what points of interest are worth evaluating or exploring on your cloud native journey. The goal of the landscape is to help determine which projects are pertinent for choosing runtimes, orchestration and management, provisioning, and many more solutions that pertain to the ecosystem.

Alongside the Cloud Native Landscape exists the Cloud Native Landscape Guide, which breaks down all the various categories in the landscape clearly and concisely. This view provides written descriptions of each cloud native category and provides insight into project focuses that you may want to contribute to or that you might want to add to your company’s technical stack.