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CNCF Annual Report 2023 - Architect the Future
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Welcome! It's been a
year to remember

This year was a game changer for cloud native. Six years ago at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Berlin OpenAI gave a talk titled Building the Infrastructure that Powers the Future of AI – the future is now. Today, cloud native is providing the infrastructure for the AI movement. Therefore it was particularly exciting for me to watch Adobe’s Joseph Sandoval lead a panel discussion during my KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America keynote, discussing how we can ensure cloud native supports AI’s rapid growth, and how we can do this whilst developing a more sustainable, safe ecosystem.

As Adobe exemplifies, end users are pivotal to the cloud native movement. This is why CNCF launched the End User Technical Advisory Board, which is instrumental in illuminating the path for adopting and operationalizing CNCF projects. Through their development and approval of reference architectures and showcasing of end user workflow patterns, the TAB provides critical clarity and guidance. These efforts support current use cases and lay the groundwork for a dynamic and thriving ecosystem that evolves with the changing landscape of cloud native technologies.

CNCF’s Technical Advisory Groups continued to drive the evolution of impactful cloud native initiatives, from the maturity of platform engineering, to sustainability. On sustainability, it was amazing to see #TeamCloudNative gather throughout the world for the first Cloud Native Sustainability Week. Kudos to TAG Environmental Sustainability for your hard work.

Congratulations to you, #TeamCloudNative, on another stellar year. I’m looking forward to seeing what we will achieve in 2024.

Priyanka Sharma

Priyanka Sharma
Executive Director, CNCF

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173 Projects
Driving worldwide
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827 Members
Across 6 continents
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220K+ Contributors
Fundamentally changing
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2023 Photo Highlights

Photo from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2023
Photo from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023
Photo from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2023
Photo from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2023
Photo from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023
Photo from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023
Photo from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023
Photo from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023
Photo from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023
Photo from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023



CNCF is the open source software foundation dedicated to making cloud native computing ubiquitous. Since we were founded in 2015, we’ve pioneered cloud native technologies – hosting and growing some of the world’s most successful open source projects including Kubernetes, Prometheus, Envoy, ContainerD, and many others.

Today we are the powerhouse for visionary projects and people, hosting 173 projects, driven by more than 220,000 contributors representing 190 countries, and there are no signs of this momentum slowing down.

Contributor Growth

Chart showing upward trend of Contributors growth

Member, End User & Project Growth

Chart showing upward trend of Members, End User and Project growth


The CNCF is supported by 827 participating organizations, including the world’s largest public and private cloud companies, along with the innovative software companies and end user organizations. Despite the market slowdown, which saw industry mergers and acquisitions deals drop, on average, by 27.4% compared to 2022, CNCF has remained consistent in not only attracting new investment, but in retaining long-term relationships with key industry players. Investment from these leading organizations signifies a strong dedication to the advancement and sustainability of cloud native computing for years to come.

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New Gold Members

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New Platinum Members

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Join as CNCF Member

End User Community

The essence of this community is more than technology adoption; it's about developing a culture of continuous learning, sharing, and improvement. The passion with which they engage with cloud-native tools and practices is instrumental in pushing the boundaries, setting new industry benchmarks, and driving the CNCF's mission forward. Through active participation, they contribute significantly to a vibrant, collaborative ecosystem that embodies the ethos of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

Taylor Dolezal

Head of Ecosystem, CNCF

Panelists on stage at a conference

The CNCF End User community is a group of innovative, forward-thinking organizations that constantly push the boundaries of cloud native technology. These organizations use cloud native architectures to power their operations and are not limited to the cloud native service industry. They are different from vendors, consultancies, training partners, or telecommunications companies because their primary goal is to harness the power of cloud native architectures to solve real-world problems rather than to sell cloud native services externally.

The people leading these efforts within the end user companies are tech-savvy and cloud native enthusiasts. They face challenges and opportunities presented by cloud native architectures with great enthusiasm and devise self-service solutions that promote inclusivity and an iterative process. This culture of self-service empowers teams, catalyzes innovation, and accelerates the iterative feedback loop, which is essential for agile and resilient operations.


The creation of the CNCF End User Technical Advisory Board (TAB) in 2023 was a significant milestone emphasizing the importance of collaboration and putting users at the center of the CNCF ecosystem. The End User TAB aims to amplify the voice and insights of the End User community by keeping them at the forefront of CNCF's activities. This approach will enable a responsive and inclusive environment that prioritizes the needs of end users and, in turn, will help to create a dynamic and thriving ecosystem.

The key responsibilities of the End User TAB include:

  • Offering feedback on project usability, reliability, and performance.
  • Reviewing and authorizing the publication of reference architectures for cloud native technologies.
  • Providing End User input to the Governing Board and Technical Oversight Committee.
  • Elevating visibility around end user adoption of CNCF projects.
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In 2023, we launched the groundbreaking Zero to Merge program, a four-week course designed to transform end users into effective contributors to CNCF projects. The program exceeded all expectations by attracting more than 850 registrations from 23 countries, ultimately accepting 363 participants. The first meeting alone had 197 attendees, showcasing the community's eagerness to engage in the cloud native ecosystem.

The program's success went beyond metrics by creating a tangible impact with participant contributions spanning multiple CNCF projects, creating a ripple effect of positive enhancements. Our next cohort is set to kick off in Spring 2024. Don't miss your chance to transform your cloud native contributions and apply for the next cohort.

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363 Participants
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23 Countries
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850 Registrations
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End User Activity

Join our End User Community to learn from your peers and add your voice to this influential group.

Top 10 CNCF Projects with Highest Contributions from End User Members

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Top 10 Highest-Contributing CNCF End User Members

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End User Awards

We were thrilled to award Mercedes Benz Tech Innovation and Spotify with our Top End User Awards this year in recognition of their notable contributions to the cloud native ecosystem.


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Mercedes Benz Tech Innovation GmbH is consistently one of the top end user companies that contributes to Kubernetes worldwide.


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This is the second time Spotify were recognised for significant and continuous contributions to CNCF projects, with over 23,000 contributions in 2023 alone.


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Intuit were named our Top End User in 2022, but we wanted to take the opportunity to share this fantastic video with you, detailing some of the great open source work going on behind the scenes.



As a truly global community, events have always been important to us, providing opportunities to connect face-to-face, learn from peers, and drive the innovation that powers the cloud native ecosystem.

As part of our commitment to the cloud native community, we invested heavily in events throughout 2023, introducing new opportunities for collaboration around security and WASM, and, excitingly for us, hosting KubeCon + CloudNativeCon in China after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

Men cheering at a conference

Community Days

KCDs are community-organized events that gather adopters and technologists to learn, collaborate, and network, with a goal of furthering the adoption and improvement of Kubernetes and cloud native technologies around the world. In response to the KCD community's evolving needs in different regions, CNCF strengthened the program this year.

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32 KCDs
In-person, virtual and hybrid
100% year over year increase
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24 Countries
Across the globe
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20% non male
speaker average
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10,000+ attendees
43% year over year increase
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in multiple languages
(English, Slavic, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, and Indonesian)

Kube days

We’re driven by #TeamCloudNative, so when many of you asked for more regional events that connect cloud native experts and adopters, so you can share ideas, best practices, and strengthen your communities, we took action!

In late 2022 we launched the KubeDay event series, kicking off with KubeDay Japan in Yokohama in December. We followed up in 2023 with:

  • June: Tel Aviv, Israel
  • December: Bangalore, India
  • December: Singapore
Man speaking on microphone


What started as a co-located event alongside KubeCon + CloudNativeCon officially grew into a major industry convention in 2023 – in fact, the first cloud native security event of its kind. The inaugural CloudNativeSecurityCon drew almost 800 experts and practitioners from across the world to share insights and experiences on the unique security challenges faced by cloud native technology. Read the full transparency report for more details.

CloudNativeSecurityCon attendee stats.

KubeCon +
CloudNativeCon Europe

Welcome to KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2023

Attendee Demographics

Showing 16,092 Registered attendees of which 42% were men, 6% women, <1% non-binary/other, and 52% preferred not to answer. Of the attendees 65% were in person, 35% were virtual. 51% of visitors were first timers.
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CFP Submissions
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Have a look at the full details in our transparency report

Video Highlights

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon
North America

Welcome to KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2023

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America marked the first time we’d gathered in such big numbers in the Midwest, and Detroit was a wonderful host city. We launched a number of new initiatives, including Security Slam, in partnership with Sonatype. There were also some special surprises at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, including welcoming our Senior Developer Advocate Ihor Dvoretskyi back in-person, who was granted short-term leave from serving in the Ukraine military.

Attendee Demographics

Showing 13,666 Registered attendees of which 40% were men, 8% women, <1% non-binary/other, and 52% preferred not to answer. Of the attendees 66% were in person, 34% were virtual. 54% of visitors were first timers.
Download icon
CFP Submissions
Megaphone icon

Have a look at the full details in our transparency report

Video Highlights

Training &


Education has always been one of the pillars of the CNCF. To ensure we are meeting the needs of our community, this year we conducted a microsurvey to outline the challenges and difficulties related to training and certifications.

The benefits of achieving new training and certifications were clear:

~ 55%

reported pursuing training and certifications helped them land a new job


say it left them feeling more engaged and fulfilled in the their work


received higher pay as a result of completing a new training or certification

To better serve our community, CNCF launched seven new trainings in 2023. The number of certifications has also been dramatically improved, adding five new certifications in 2023.


Shows growing number of certifications each year.

2023 Training

The evolution can also be seen within the participation numbers of training and certs

Cloud native training courses from LF
13% Increase

Kubernetes Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) hit 345,000 enrollments

33% Increase

Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam hit 176,000 enrollments

31% Increase

Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) hit 79,000 exam registrations

38% Increase

Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) exam hit 36,000 registrations

43% Increase

Kubernetes and Cloud Native Associate (KCNA) exam hit 8,800 registrations (since its launch in November 2021)

1,500+ Registrations

Prometheus Certified Associate (PCA) exam hit 1500+ registrations (since its launch on September, 2022)

60+ Registrations

Istio Certified Associate (ICA) exam hit 60+ registrations (since its launch on September, 2023)

Project Updates &


Throughout 2023, CNCF underscored our commitment to making cloud native ubiquitous - hosting 24 graduated projects, 36 incubating and 109 sandbox projects.

New Projects

In 2023, the Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) accepted 17 new projects

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Project Moves

Projects increase their maturity level by demonstrating to the TOC that they have attained end user and vendor adoption, established a healthy rate of code commits and codebase changes, and attracted committers from multiple organizations. In 2023, four projects graduated, and five moved to the incubating level.


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CNCF Project Velocity

Consistently looking into CNCF project’s velocity and the top open source projects give us a very good indication of trends that are resonating with developers and end users. As a result, we can get insight into platforms that will likely be successful. This graph shows the 30 projects that experienced the most significant growth in 2023:

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CNCF Project Velocity chart

Project Velocity Key Takeaways

  • Kubernetes continues to mature with the largest contributor base.
  • OpenTelemetry continues to grow its contributor base and remains the second highest velocity project in the CNCF ecosystem.
  • Backstage continues to grow, solving an important pain point around cloud native developer experience.
  • GitOps continues to be important in the cloud native ecosystem, where projects like Argo and Flux continue to cultivate large communities.
  • The importance of cost management in tight economic times has resulted in OpenCost appearing in the top 30 CNCF project list for the first time. I expect to see OpenCost continue to grow along with the rise of the FinOps movement worldwide.
  • As Kubernetes matures, many organizations turn to service mesh technology and those projects in CNCF like Envoy, Cilium, and Istio continue to cultivate large contributor communities to meet the demand. Cilium recently graduated inside of CNCF and moved up a couple spots in the top 30 CNCF project list.
  • In many cases, CNCF projects underpin large scale AI infrastructure and we have Kubeflow appearing on the top 30 CNCF project list for the first time.
Chris Aniszczyk

Chris Aniszczyk


CNCF conducted a number of open source security audits throughout 2023, in strategic partnership with the Open Source Technology Improvement Fund (OSTIF).

The following CNCF projects have completed security audits or associated work:

Fuzzing Audits

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Security Audits

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If we truly are moving to standardize cloud-native technologies, to lock them down and further secure them and to build an increasingly comprehensive set of standards and protocols, then we can feasibly also now turn our attention towards being more sustainable in our software application development and more sustainable in terms of how much of the planet's resources that software uses.

Adrian Bridgwater


Phippy & Friends

From a humble PHP app, Phippy has gone on to help thousands of folx take their first steps to understanding cloud native computing - from containerisation to automation. Today, Phippy and Friends’ mission is to demystify cloud native computing and explain complicated concepts in a compelling, engaging and easy-to-understand manner.

In 2023, two projects donated characters

New Phippy characters, Obee the Cilium Bee and Tai the TUF elephant


We were also thrilled to see Phippy dive into new adventures in WASM in Phippy's Field Guide to Wasm Thanks to our friends at Fermyon!

Phippys Field Guide to Wasm book cover

Join The Phippy & Friends Family!

Are you a maintainer on a graduated project?

Do you want to help others better understand the concepts of cloud native computing? Donate a character to the Phippy and Friends family.

Confused Goldie character

Community & Diversity


The CNCF community spans the world, across our contributors, members, meetups, and ambassadors.

We doubled down on our commitment to #TeamCloudNative in 2023, investing in community-driven initiatives to fuel sustained momentum, expansion, growth and adoption. Importantly, we continued to sharpen focus on our DEI initiatives, ensuring that the ecosystem is a welcoming place where everybody can thrive.

Diversity group on stage cheering at Kubecon NA

Deaf & HOH Working Group

This year saw the launch of the CNCF Deaf and Hard of Hearing (deaf/hoh) working group, which aims to empower and include individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing in the cloud native and open source communities. The group’s mission is to create a supportive and inclusive environment within the cloud native and open source community.

Laptop with CNBC article showing on it


CNCF continues to support the development of this incredible cloud native community while also striving to ensure that everyone who participates feels welcome regardless of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, race, ethnicity, age, religion, or economic status. To date, we’ve offered more than 6,000 diversity and need-based scholarships, through the Dan Kohn Scholarship Fund.

In 2023 we supported 744 speakers and scholarship recipients with travel funding to attend CNCF events. The travel fund recipients are from traditionally underrepresented or marginalized groups; as well as active community members who would not otherwise have been able to attend due to financial reasons. Additionally, we offered 1,080 complimentary registration passes to those in need.

Scholarships were funded by sponsorships from

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Humans of Cloud Native

At the heart of CNCF is our welcoming community of doers, working together to make cloud native ubiquitous. This year we were privileged to publish 12 Humans of Cloud Native features, telling the stories of amazing individuals and their contributions that make team cloud native such a vibrant, exciting and diverse space. We also held the first Humans of Cloud Native Panel at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America, moderated by Bart Farrel.

Collage of multiple HOCN

Do you know somebody doing incredible things in the cloud native ecosystem?
Nominate them for the Humans of Cloud Native by writing to

Community Awards

Now in their seventh year, the CNCF Community Awards highlighted the most active ambassador and top contributor across all CNCF projects. The awards included:

First place icon

Top cloud Native Committer

An individual with incredible technical skills and notable technical achievements in one or multiple CNCF projects

Akihiro Suda

Akihiro Suda @_AkihiroSuda_

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Top Documentarian

This award recognizes excellence in documentation contributions to CNCF and its projects

Divya Mohan

Divya Mohan @divya_mohan02

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Chop Wood & Carry Water awards

To recognize contributors who spend countless hours completing often mundane tasks, CNCF created the "Chop Wood and Carry Water" awards. CNCF was proud to acknowledge the amazing efforts of five individuals for their outstanding contributions in 2023:

Kaslin Fields

Kaslin Fields @kaslinfields

Fassela k

Fassela k @FaseelaDilshan

Arnaud Meukam

Arnaud Meukam @ameukam

Lin Sun

Lin Sun @linsun_unc

Rajas Kakodkar

Rajas Kakodkar @RajasKakodkar

In 2023, CNCF introduced two new awards to spotlight valuable work creating positive ripples throughout the ecosystem.

First place icon


Presented to the person who has done the most to advance CNCF’s Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs). TAGs scale contributions by the CNCF technical and user community, while retaining integrity and increasing quality in support of CNCF’s mission of making cloud native ubiquitous. The very first recipient of this award was:

Catherine Paganini

Catherine Paganini @CathPaga

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small but mighty

This award recognizes the company or organization in the community with the largest impact. CNCF is made up of hundreds of thousands of individuals and organizations, each providing valuable contributions, but this award is presented to an organization punching above its weight. CNCF is pleased to present this award to:


Weaveworks @Weaveworks

All award recipients on a stage

Mentoring &
Ecosystem Resources


CNCF worked closely in partnership with individual contributors and community groups throughout 2023, developing programs to navigate and manage the fast-growing ecosystem - rising to meet the growing global demand for cloud native technologies.

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Community Mentoring

CNCF proudly supported more than 140 individuals through various mentoring and internship opportunities in 2023, including the LFX mentorship platform, Google Summer of Code (GSoC), Google Summer of Docs (GSoD) program, and Outreachy. These programs are important catalysts for internships to have an impact on future technologies that we all depend on.

The TAG Contributor Strategy Mentoring Working Group recruited a community administrator for Google Summer of Code, and added a Technical Lead for data analytics to help measure the effectiveness of the program against the Working Group goals.

We sponsored 132 students to work on 30 CNCF Projects

Mentorship metrics

And helped CNCF Projects participate in other open source mentoring opportunities:

Mentoring opportunities metrics


CNCF’s revenue is derived from four primary fundraising sources, including membership, event sponsorship, event registration, and training.

Four Funding Sources

CNCF Funding breakdown pie chart


expenditures breakdown

A basic premise behind CNCF, our conferences (including KubeCon + CloudNativeCon), and open source, in general, is that interactions are positive-sum. There is no fixed amount of investment, mindshare, or development contribution allocated to specific projects. Equally important, a neutral home for a project and community fosters this type of positive-sum thinking and drives the growth and diversity that we believe are core elements of a successful open source project.

Thank You

We hope you enjoyed reflecting on all the great things we accomplished together in 2023.

Your comments and feedback are welcome at

We’re looking forward to seeing you in 2024! Check out our calendar for community events near you and don’t forget to register for KubeCon+CloudNativeCon Europe in Paris in April.

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