After a good year of probation in the sandbox of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), the responsible Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) decided to promote Crossplane to the status of an incubator project. As an open source extension of the Kubernetes API, Crossplane Ops teams are able to manage and assemble cloud infrastructures using Custom Resource Definitions (CRDs) – comparable to the control level approach of large cloud providers. Application developers can use these resources via high-level APIs without having to write their own code.
Cross-cloud managed services
With the inclusion in the incubator, the CNCF recognizes the progress made in the past 12 months and the level of maturity of the open source project. Chris Aniszczyk, CTO of the CNCF, expressly praises the cross-cloud approach of Crossplane: “The industry is ready for cross-cloud managed services through the innovative approach of Crossplane, which makes it possible to set up a separate control level with internal infrastructure abstractions on CRDs” . Crossplane, currently available in version 1.4.1, has been an official major release since the end of 2020 and is now in productive use at numerous companies – for example at Accenture, Deutsche Bahn and the ferry operator DFDS. GitLab also got involved early on Crossplane for multi-cloud deployment explored.
The project, which started at the end of 2018, was originally the result of a development by the Upbound company. The team responsible there handed Crossplane over to the CNCF as open source in mid-2020. According to Bassam Tabbara, CEO of Upbound and project maintainer, the goal was to create a central control point for applications and infrastructure that can be used across teams, users and clouds. Crossplane was supposed to meet the growing need for GitOps and declarative provisioning of infrastructure resources for Kubernetes installations. The project uses CRDs and XRDs (Crossplane Composite Resource Definition) to expand the Kubernetes API and to interact with the cloud provider APIs via an operator.
Custom configurations on the roadmap
The team of developers intends to gradually expand the range of resources supported by Crossplane, and in the future to offer them to users as well Custom Compositions enable your own logics to flow into the abstraction level. More details on the future plans can be found in the project’s roadmap. The current status summarizes the CNCF blog post for inclusion in the incubator. If you want to deal with crossplane in more detail, you should take a look on the project website as Throw in the GitHub repo.