Even Without Kubernetes, Google Dominates Code Commits Across Cloud Native Computing Foundation Projects

January 18, 2019 0 By Hoofer

Google dominates all code contributions made across projects of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), dwarfing all other contributors, according to analysis done via Stackalytics, an open source code analysis framework hosted by the OpenStack Foundation. Google is not only the largest contributor with 52.9% of all code commits, but it has seven times more contributions than the second largest contributor, Red Hat, with only 7.4%.

CNCF is an open source software foundation dedicated to making cloud native computing universal and sustainable. Cloud native computing uses an open source software stack to deploy applications as microservices, packaging each part into its own container, and dynamically orchestrating those containers to optimize resource utilization. Cloud native technologies enable software developers to build great products faster. 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 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."

Stackalytics is a service that collects and processes development activity data such as commits, lines of code changed, and code reviews, blueprints and makes it possible to visualize it in a convenient web dashboard. The Stackalytics dashboard makes it possible to view data by project, company, contributor, and other factors.

A careful analysis of the data shows other surprises as well. For example, 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 development is virtually exclusively on the shoulders of Google (or YouTube, from which it originated) with 77% of commits.

However, while Google clearly dominates CNCF project contributions overall, 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

In fact, the only CNCF project with less than 40% dominance by a single vendor is Prometheus, originally build by SoundCloud, but in the last 6 months virtually exclusively 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.

"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 4th biggest contributor spot, ahead of both Cisco and Red Hat."

Interested in learning more about contributions made to the CNCF projects? Check out Stackalytics here: http://stackalytics.com/