Apple joins the open-source Cloud Native Computing Foundation

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), the home of open-source projects like Kubernetes, today announced that Apple is joining as a top-level Platinum End User Member. With this, Apple is joining 89 existing CNCF end-user members like Adidas, Atlassian, Box, GitHub, The New York Times, Reddit, Spotify and Walmart.

Apple, in typical fashion, isn’t commenting on the announcement, but the CNCF notes that end-user memberships are meant for organizations that are “heavy users of open source cloud native technologies” and that are looking to give back to the community. By becoming a CNCF end-user member, companies also join the Linux Foundation.

As part of its membership, Apple also gets a seat on the CNCF’s Governing Board. Tomer Doron, a senior engineering manager at Apple, will take this seat.

“Having a company with the experience and scale of Apple as an end-user member is a huge testament to the vitality of cloud native computing for the future of infrastructure and application development,” said Chris Aniszczyk, CTO of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. “We’re thrilled to have the support of Apple, and look forward to the future contributions to the broader cloud-native project community.”

While you may not necessarily think of Apple as a major open-source company, the company has open- sourced everything from the XNU kernel that’s part of the Darwin operating system to its Swift programming language. The company has not typically participated all that much in the open-source cloud infrastructure community, though, but today’s move may signal that this is changing. Apple obviously runs its own data centers, so chances are it is indeed a heavy user of open-source infrastructure projects, though the company doesn’t typically talk about these.