Prometheus, isn’t it? CNCF rounds off community shindig by slipping Thanos and Cortex into incubator

With no significant project update available in time for CloudNativeCon, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation has stretched its incubator to 21 by welcoming on board monitoring projects Thanos and Cortex. The new status and the associated determination to invest in their proliferation can be seen as a bow to the importance of CNCF project Prometheus – after all, both come with a strong focus on extending the monitoring platform’s capabilities.

Based on the people behind the projects, this connection to the second ever CNCF graduate doesn’t come as a surprise: Cortex comes courtesy of Prometheus creator Julius Volz and project maintainer Tom Wilkie, while Thanos lists people such as Bartłomiej Płotka, another Prometheus team member, and project contributor Frederic Branczyk as its maintainers.

Cortex was initially developed at Weaveworks, but joined the CNCF sandbox in 2018. It is meant to offer users horizontally scalable, highly available, multi-tenant, long term storage for Prometheus. It is supposed to work with Amazon DynamoDB, Google Bigtable, Cassandra, S3, GCS, and Microsoft Azure can be run as a single binary for experimenting or as multiple independent microservices for better scalability and failure isolation.

Thanos only made its way into the incubator roughly a year ago, signalling vendor neutrality. The Improbable-bred set of components for composing high availability metric systems with ”unlimited storage capacity” is meant to be easily addable to Prometheus deployments and aims for global query views and unlimited retention of metrics.


In order to get to incubator status, projects generally need to have a “healthy” number of committers, a clear versioning scheme, demonstrate a “substantial ongoing flow” of commits and merged contributions, and demonstrate successful production use by at least three independent end users. For Cortex the latter includes EA and Rewe Digital, while Thanos is used by companies such as Adobe, Hetzner and Monzo.

The CNCF is part of the Linux Foundation and aims to spread the adoption of what it calls cloud native technologies. It provides its projects with governance, marketing support, and community outreach.

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