Amazon Web Services, the world's largest public cloud provider, just joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, a group that already includes the rest of the cloud universe.
This is a significant move—at least symbolically—given that the CNCF launched in 2015 and grew out of a Google-led effort to promote Kubernetes, a modern method to deploy and manage software containers that are, in turn, a modern way to build software.
Inaugural members besides Google included AT&T (t), Box (box), Cisco (csco), the Cloud Foundry Foundation, CoreOS, Docker, eBay (ebay), Goldman Sachs (gs) IBM (ibm) , Intel (intc), Joyent, Mesosphere, Red Hat (rht), Twitter (twtr), and VMware (vmw).
Chinese cloud giant Alibaba (baba) joined CNCF in June. When Microsoft (msft)—number two in the public cloud market after Amazon—joined the group the following month, some wags started referring to the CNCF as the "Everyone-But-Amazon (amzn) Cloud Foundation."
Now they can no longer say that.
Amazon has its own take on container management, called EC2 Container Service (ECS), which is viewed as a rival to Kubernetes. So some are skeptical about what this new membership really means.
Market research firm Redmonk says Kubernetes is used by 71% of Fortune 100 companies. One big reason is that the technology promises companies a way to more easily move software applications from one set of infrastructure to another. If you want to run your business software on the Google Cloud Platform, fine. Microsoft Azure or AWS or an internal data center are equally fine.
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That portability is an attractive proposition for big companies that do not want to get locked into any one cloud provider. CNCF executive director Dan Kohn said the broader story is that Kubernetes and containers are rapidly displacing virtualization as the go-to software deployment model.
Note: (August 9, 2017 3:36 p.m. EDT): This story was updated to correct the name of Amazon's container service: It is known as EC2 Container Service or ECS.