Google dominates code contributions across Cloud Native Computing Foundation projects

networking
Google dominates the total number of code contributions to the CNCF, according to a study. (Pixabay)

Even without counting Kubernetes, Google is far and away the largest code contributor to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) open source group.

Google accounts for 53% of all code commits to the Linux Foundation's CNCF and has seven times more contributions than Red Hat, which only accounted for 7.4% of the contributed code.

The analysis of code contributions was done by Stackalytics, which is an open source code analysis framework that is hosted by the OpenStack Foundation and sponsored by Mirantis.

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RELATED: Containers are a work in progress for some telcos

Cloud-native, containers and Kubernetes were among the hottest topics in the telecommunications industry last year. Service providers and enterprises want cloud-native designs because they can put disaggregated systems into smaller, independent functions that can scale up as needed.

Being able to scale up or scale down an application when it's needed is also beneficial because it doesn't leave capital expenses stranded.

While the CNCF is carrying the cloud-native ball forward, other open source communities, such as LF Networking Funds' OPNFV and ONAP, are also working on integrating cloud-native into their frameworks. 

CNCF projects include Kubernetes, Prometheus, Envoy and a number of others.

“Many would assume that Google’s dominance over CNCF code contributions is because of its work in Kubernetes (which originated in Google), but Stackalytics data reveals that this is not the case,” said Boris Renski, co-founder and CMO at Mirantis, in a prepared statement. “In fact, it is GRPC, a Google dominated distributed queuing project that is still in CNCF incubation, that has the most all-time commits from Google, with Kubernetes in second place.”

There were other surprises in the Stackalytics analysis. Google’s third-most active CNCF project, after GRPC and Kubernetes, is a little known project called Vitess, a MySQL clustering for horizontal scaling. Vitess, which was created by YouTube, rides almost exclusively on the shoulders of Google and YouTube and accounts for 77% of the total commits.

“Analysis can also turn up unexpected trends in company activities. For instance, when we hear about Istio, we think Google, Cisco, IBM and Red Hat," said Nick Chase, head of Technical Content at Mirantis. "What we don't hear so much about is Huawei, which in the last 6 months jumped to the fourth biggest contributor spot ahead of both Cisco and Red Hat.”

While Google rules the overall roost at CNCF for code commits, Mirantis also found that individual projects are frequently driven primarily by a single company:

• FluentD—48% TreasureData

• Jaeger—64% Uber

• LinkerD—84% Buoyant

• Notary—61% Docker

The lone CNCF project with less than 40% dominance by a single vendor is Prometheus, which was originally build by SoundCloud, but in the last six months largely maintained by independents and Red Hat.

Stackalytics originally started as an open source project under the umbrella of the OpenStack foundation, focused exclusively on analyzing code contributions to OpenStack project. It has since expanded to encompass CNCF and a number of independent popular projects, such as Istio, Spinnaker, OpenShift and a number of others.

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