Industry leaders come together to drive the growth of eBPF as a transformational technology to redefine networking, security, tracing and observability

SAN FRANCISCO, August 12, 2021 – The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced that it is hosting the eBPF Foundation. Founding members include Facebook, Google, Isovalent, Microsoft and Netflix. This comes in advance of the eBPF Summit, a free and virtual event taking place August 18-19, 2021.

eBPF allows developers to safely and efficiently embed programs in any piece of software, including the operating system kernel. As a result, eBPF is quickly becoming the method of choice for achieving a wide range of infrastructure use cases, delivering significant efficiency and performance gains and dramatically reducing the complexity of the system. For example, Facebook is using eBPF as the primary software-defined load balancer in its data centers, and Google is using Cilium to bring eBPF-based networking and security to the managed Kubernetes offerings GKE and Anthos.

“eBPF is a revolutionary technology that allows us to modify operating system behavior in real time without risky or expensive kernel code changes. It’s had a remarkable impact on our ability to iterate quickly on everything from networking to security to containerization,” said Alexei Starovoitov, Co-creator and Maintainer of eBPF, Kernel Developer at Facebook.

eBPF changes the way operating systems and infrastructure services are designed. It bridges the boundary between kernel and user space. It encourages and accelerates innovation and is a significant leap forward in open source technology for networking, security, application profiling/tracing and system observability use cases. eBPF enables users to even combine and apply logic across multiple subsystems which were traditionally completely independent.

“eBPF has redefined the way we think about the operating system and has led to a massive wave of innovation in networking, security, and observability. Because of its deep relevance in the cloud native world, eBPF adoption has been accelerating at an incredible pace,” said Daniel Borkmann, Co-creator and Maintainer of eBPF, Kernel Developer at Isovalent.

By making the OS kernel programmable, infrastructure software can leverage existing layers, making them more intelligent, scalable and feature-rich without continuing to add additional layers of complexity to the system. eBPF has resulted in the development of a completely new generation of tooling in areas such as networking, security, application profiling/tracing and performance troubleshooting that no longer rely on existing kernel functionality but instead actively reprogram runtime behavior without compromising execution efficiency or safety.

The eBPF Foundation will expand the significant level of contributions being made to extend the powerful capabilities of eBPF and grow beyond Linux. It will be the home for open source eBPF projects and technologies and nurture the community through a variety of activities, including summits and other collaboration events in order to further drive the growth and adoption of the eBPF ecosystem.

“eBPF is one of the greatest examples of the kind of innovation that happens in the Linux community and encompasses technologies that are natural for us to host. It also represents the future of operating systems and microservices delivery,” said Mike Dolan, general manager and senior vice president of projects at the Linux Foundation. “We look forward to supporting the work of the eBPF Foundation and community.”

For more information, please visit: https://www.ebpf.io

Member Quotes

Facebook
“For many years, eBPF has played a critical role in accelerating the kernel development — thanks to the tireless work of many dedicated developers and maintainers,” said Chris Mason, Kernel Maintainer and Engineering Director at Facebook. “We’re excited to support the work of the eBPF community, enabling them to build the tools needed to power the next generation of Linux system development.”

Google
“We are excited to see the Linux Foundation announce their decision to host eBPF,” said Chris DiBona, director of open source at Google. “eBPF is the future of networking for the Linux kernel and Google is pleased to be part of the evolving standard it has created.”

Isovalent
“The programmability of eBPF has enabled a revolution in security, observability, and networking. In particular in the area of containers and the cloud native space more broadly. We are proud to have played a central role in developing and co-maintaining eBPF from its early days to the industry standard it has become. We are looking forward to continuing to work with the community,” said Thomas Graf, Chief Technology Officer, Isovalent. “Even though eBPF has already found its ways into the production stacks of countless enterprises, we are still at the beginning of the innovation curve that eBPF as a technology unlocks.”

Microsoft
“eBPF has resulted in a new generation of tooling that allows developers to easily diagnose problems, innovate quickly, and extend operating system functionality,” said Mark Russinovich, Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft Azure. “Microsoft looks forward to partnering with the community in further expanding the use of eBPF in new scenarios and platforms.  We’re excited to collaborate with the other founding members and hope additional organizations will join.”

Netflix
“eBPF is a new type of software that provides superpower capabilities, birthing an industry of networking, performance, and security technologies,” said Brendan Gregg, senior performance engineer at Netflix. “Netflix has pioneered uses of eBPF for observability, providing insight into countless areas that were previously difficult or prohibitively expensive to instrument. eBPF has helped us lower application latency and find cost savings. Netflix is delighted to join the eBPF Foundation to collaborate and develop more exciting technologies.”

Supporting Quote

Intel
Intel welcomes the creation of the eBPF Foundation. Technologies including eBPF have the potential to revolutionize critical applications and use cases across compute, storage, networking, and next generation infrastructure. We are excited to continue to contribute to eBPF and look forward to working with the new eBPF Foundation to accelerate customer workloads and unlock innovation,” said Jesse Brandeburg, a Principal Software Engineer in the Ethernet Products Group at Intel.

About The Linux Foundation
Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,000 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. The Linux Foundation’s projects are critical to the world’s infrastructure including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, and more. The Linux Foundation’s methodology focuses on leveraging best practices and addressing the needs of contributors, users and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at linuxfoundation.org.

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