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Today Red Hat is thrilled to announce our contribution of etcd, an open source project that is a key component of Kubernetes, and its acceptance into the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), a vendor-neutral foundation housed under The Linux Foundation to drive the adoption of cloud native systems.

The etcd project’s focus is safely storing critical data of a distributed system and it demonstrated its quality early on. It is most notably the primary datastore of Kubernetes, the de facto standard system for container orchestration. Today we're excited to transfer stewardship of etcd to the same body that cares for the growth and maintenance of Kubernetes. Given that etcd powers every Kubernetes cluster, this move brings etcd to the community that relies on it most at the CNCF.

Red Hat plans to continue participating in developing etcd, especially as a part of our enterprise Kubernetes product, Red Hat OpenShift. Red Hat is also one of the early supporting companies that helped to launch CNCF in 2015 and has since worked alongside the foundation and community on the development and growth of cloud native technologies. With our heritage and dedication to open source software and community-driven development, etcd can benefit the community even further within CNCF housed next to Kubernetes.

etcd: For critical data of a distributed system

etcd (pronounced et-see-dee) was created by the CoreOS team in 2013, and has been maintained by Red Hat engineers working alongside a team of peers from across the industry. Inspired by Chubby, a key-value store created for Google’s internal cluster infrastructure, etcd is an open source, distributed, consistent key-value store for shared configuration, service discovery, and scheduler coordination. etcd uses the Raft consensus algorithm for replicated logs. By using etcd, applications can maintain more consistent uptime and remain working, even in the face of individual servers failing. etcd is a core component of software pioneered by the CoreOS team that facilitates safer automatic updates, coordinates work being scheduled to hosts, and sets up overlay networking for containers.

Currently etcd is at 3.3 and with 157 releases, nearly 15,000 commits, and 469 contributors, it has grown in importance and shown its value over the last five years to critical systems, including the Kubernetes project. etcd is designed as a consistency store across environments, whether public cloud, hybrid cloud or bare metal. etcd has many production users and projects using etcd. Kubernetes clusters use etcd as their primary data store, including Red Hat OpenShift, a leading enterprise Kubernetes solution. Red Hat OpenShift customers and, in reality, all Kubernetes users have benefited from the community work on this project. The community around etcd has grown globally from cloud native users and beyond, including maintainers from Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Red Hat. We thank the community for its continued support of the project, and look forward to more concerted development efforts for etcd alongside the cloud-native community moving forward.

The open source project is used by communities and users like Uber, which  uses etcd for the recently open sourced project, M3. “Uber uses etcd for M3, a large-scale distributed metrics platform that has been in use at Uber for several years, and has provided it stability to support the 9+ billion time series M3 houses. We look forward to the work with the community on continuing to power etcd for critical workloads like ours,” said Rob Skillington, Staff Software Engineer, Uber.

Another open source user, for example, is Alibaba. "Alibaba uses etcd for several critical infrastructure systems, given its superior capabilities in providing high availability and data reliability," said Xiang Li, senior staff engineer, Alibaba. "As a maintainer of etcd we see the next phase for etcd to focus on usability and performance. Alibaba looks forward to continuing co-leading the development of etcd and making etcd easier to use and more performant."

And while the project is now stewarded under CNCF there is already a wide community of maintainers. “Kubernetes and the cloud native community has been building upon on etcd since the early days of containers. Today, the etcd project is widely adopted and we look forward to working with the project maintainers from Alibaba, AWS, Google, and Red Hat, alongside the wider community to cultivate and sustain the incubating project,” said Chris Aniszczyk, COO, CNCF.

etcd accepted into CNCF

Now that etcd has been accepted into the CNCF, what does this mean for community users?

First, the etcd trademark will be managed by the Linux Foundation and its trademark usage guidelines, and the domains and accounts will be stewarded by CNCF.

What we don’t expect to change is the diverse community of etcd maintainers, including Red Hat, Alibaba Cloud, Google Cloud, Amazon, and more. Moving forward, the project will continue to focus on the communities that rely on it.

Red Hat plans to continue extending etcd with the etcd Operator to bring even more security and operational ease, enabling users to configure and manage the complexities of etcd using a declarative configuration that creates, configures, and manages etcd clusters.

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