World’s largest freely available bare metal server cluster for advancing cloud native computing

TORONTO – LinuxCon/ContainerCon – August 23, 2016 – T​he Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), ​which is advancing the development of open source software stacks that orchestrate containers of microservices, today announced the public availability of its Community Cluster for open source projects advancing cloud native computing. The Cluster is housed at the state-of-the-art Supernap Switch facility in Las Vegas.

"The opening up of the CNCF cluster is the single most positive thing in the world of cloud native that I have seen this year,” said Fintan Ryan, industry analyst at RedMonk. “We are already seeing the CNCF taking a lead in bringing communities and companies together to work in an open collaborative manner. Ultimately this collaboration will benefit everyone using cloud native technology."

Access to the $15 million CNCF Community Cluster, a 1,000 node server deployment of Xeon processor-based Intel servers, allows developers to initiate large-scale integration testing before releases, as well as assess the feasibility and scalability of experimental approaches. To be used by open source projects, this infrastructure can be leveraged to run multiple scalability and performance tests and deploy various software stacks easily and at scale.

“If you are developing cloud native open source software and want to ensure that it functions at scale, please apply to run it on the CNCF Community Cluster,” said Dan Kohn, executive director of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

Multiple projects are using or in the process of applying for use, including CNCF-hosted projects Kubernetes and Prometheus, the Apache Zookeeper project and others.

“Deploying applications in a cloud is different than in traditional data centers, from performance levels and monitoring to security and system management, to orchestration and deployment, and resiliency of the physical infrastructure,” said Jason Mendenhall, executive vice president of Cloud at Switch. “The CNCF Community Cluster will help open source developers resolve issues on the entire cloud native stack.”

The application for cluster usage lists the requirements, including:

  • That the code being run is 100% open source,

  • That the testing advance cloud native computing (specifically containerization, orchestration, microservices or some combination), and

  • That the testing involve containerized workloads, if appropriate.

“The cluster is designed to provide developers with the opportunity to test applications at larger scales than they could on their own. Ultimately, this will make the move to cloud infrastructure faster and easier for businesses of all sizes, allowing enterprises to benefit from the efficiency and agility of a cloud native architecture,” said Jonathan Donaldson, vice president, Data Center Group and general manager, Software Defined Infrastructure at Intel Corporation.

About the cluster:

The CNCF Community Cluster, operated by Intel for the CNCF community, provides users a staged path to first develop and test on a small scale and then graduate to large-scale testing. It includes the hardware needed to develop, debug and run cloud native software on relevant infrastructure at scale. Users of the cluster will be able to experience the rare value that the cluster represents: size and bare metal. The compute node and storage specs include:

Compute Node Spec

  • 2x Intel E5-2680v3 12-core

  • 256GB RAM

  • 2x Intel S3610 400GB SSD

  • 1x Intel P3700 800GB NVMe PCIe SSD

  • 1x QP Intel X710

Storage Node Spec

  • 2x Intel E5-2680v3 12-core

  • 128GB RAM

  • 2x Intel S3610 400GB SSD

  • 10x Intel 2TB NLSAS HDD

  • 1x QP Intel X710

To submit a request to use the CNCF Community cluster, file an issue here. Note, CNCF projects, CNCF members, and related infrastructure projects demonstrating intent of upstreaming code will be given priority use of the cluster.

If you would like more information or to get involved with the CNCF Community Cluster, check out GitHub:​.

Additional Resources 

About Cloud Native Computing Foundation

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. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) hosts critical components of those software stacks including Kubernetes and Prometheus; brings together the industry’s top developers, end users, and vendors; and serves as a neutral home for collaboration. CNCF is part of The Linux Foundation. For more information about CNCF, please visit:

The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see our trademark usage page: Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

Go to top