Delivering the Future of Enterprise Cloud Computing

At Box, we power collaboration for some of the largest companies in the world. To effectively serve our customers, we need to maintain enterprise-grade security and functionality while still providing an agile and dynamic infrastructure for our engineers. This has always been a difficult balance to strike, but with the current wave of containerization-based technologies, we believe there is massive opportunity ahead to build both fully secure and fully dynamic cloud native infrastructure.

Ever since the introduction of Docker two years ago, containerization has taken the cloud software development world by storm, enabling a myriad of new technologies to appear. CoreOS has developed a next-generation Linux distribution that is managed and updated completely independently of the applications that run on it. Kubernetes, now 1.0, has enabled developers to never again ask the question "how should I run my apps?" or "where are my apps running?" And now with the establishment of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, we have a framework for creating these new technologies that work together to obsolete the need to design your own infrastructure from scratch. You can finally focus your efforts on architecting your app, not your infrastructure.

But we're just getting started, and that's where the CNCF will help. While there are a lot of great technologies out there, there is not the level of convergence among them that would yield the greatest alignment of the ecosystem. The Open Container Project is a fantastic start by bringing together competing container runtimes, but there are many more components that could benefit greatly from standardization: the orchestration tier, the scheduling interface, the definition of a node, all the way up to standardized interfaces for service discovery and master election. Driving structure and standards across the full "Cloud Native" stack is going to propel the ecosystem forward in incredible ways. Box is proud to be a founding member of the End User Advisory Board, because our goal is the same as everyone else at the CNCF: to create a common set of technologies that enable developers to easily deploy cloud applications, resulting in more code reuse, reduced costs and increases in overall agility.

The first priority of the Foundation is focused on the Kubernetes open source project, a project we've been working with firsthand. Kubernetes has opened up new possibilities for us in terms of application portability and operational agility. What's most impressed us is the leadership of the project itself. Kubernetes' founders and primary contributors consist of many of the individuals who worked on Borg, the largest container management cluster in the world. We've already begun contributing to Kubernetes and are consistently impressed with not only the stellar technical skill of the team but also their close partnership with the community at large to develop a truly universal piece of infrastructure, not just one that serves Google's purposes. Now, under the advisement and stewardship of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, we are even more excited about the future of Kubernetes and its place as a core component of our infrastructure.

Cloud infrastructure is experiencing a revolution similar to the one that occurred in the 2000's with virtualization. With containers providing the interface for programming application units, we now can start to think about what are the "standard components" that universally make up all cloud native applications. We're excited to work with the Cloud Native Computing Foundation to make that future a reality.