Rook, an open-source project adding storage to Kubernetes, joins the Cloud Native Computing Foundation

An overview of how Rook, the latest project accepted by the CNCF, brings support for storage systems directly into Kubernetes. (Rook Photo)

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation has agreed on the 15th project to grace its roster: Rook, a storage-oriented plugin for Kubernetes.

Developed by Seattle’s Bassram Tabbara while he was CTO of Quantum Systems, Rook is an open-source project that allows Kubernetes users to enjoy the benefits of having storage more closely connected to their clusters. It’s the latest move by the CNCF community to make Kubernetes — the popular open-source project used to manage large deployments of applications built around containers — easier to use for a wider base of technology organizations.

Right now, Kubernetes isn’t as useful an option for companies that run a lot of storage or data-intensive workloads, Tabbara said. Kubernetes users need to interact with their external data storage systems through a plug-in that can hurt performance, he said.

Bassam Tabbara, CEO of Upbound and developer of Rook. (CNCF Photo)

Rook fills that gap by bringing storage applications into the heart of Kubernetes next to computing and networking, Tabbara said.

“By bringing storage into the cluster, you now have a much more portable cluster,” he said. This is one of the key goals of Kubernetes and the CNCF; to enable multicloud portability so that users can feel a bit more confident they won’t get locked into a single cloud provider.

The new project takes its place inside the CNCF as an inception-level project, which means it isn’t quite as mature as other projects inside the consortium. Kubernetes, Envoy, and several other key CNCF projects operate at the incubation level, in hopes of graduating to the aptly named graduated level, which implies a certain level of stability that should convince more tech organizations to adopt the project.

Tabbara has also launched a company based around Rook. Upbound is a two-month-old startup based in Seattle that is currently operating in stealth mode, and while Tabbara declined to share specific details regarding its plans, it’s not unusual to see a company spring up around a growing open-source project to provide a commercial, supported version of the tech.

With this 15th project, the CNCF is rounding out its definition of what it means to be a “cloud-native” software development organization in the 21st century. The idea behind the CNCF is to give promising open-source projects assistance and support as they work out the kinks with the goal of providing a blueprint for companies that want to build cloud-native infrastructure for their own organizations.