revisiting our graduation criteria and process

Brian Grant

Welcome new TOC members!

We have several projects asking for graduation reviews: Fluentd, containerd, TUF, NATS, and Jaeger.

I didn't participate in some recent project graduation votes because I didn't feel I had adequate information to make a decision. In one case, due diligence that had been performed hadn't been documented or presented. In another, the content of the application (basically a checklist and a list of users) didn't seem sufficient, despite nominally meeting our criteria.

Our current criteria are here:

There is a proposal to add a security audit to the requirements, which is a good step:

But I think we need to start with revisiting what we want graduation to mean to users, and then ensure that the criteria ensure those attributes. I should also add that whatever criteria we come up with, we should ensure the CNCF helps projects meet those criteria.

Our criteria imply that we want users to be able to use the projects in relatively critical (probably should be defined) so-called "production" use cases. How should we ensure that is the case?

I've recently heard from a user that they didn't think most software in the ecosystem was usable in production due to lack of scalability, reliability, security, and other issues. I also heard from a security engineer that they wouldn't trust most open source due to lack of rigorous review processes, especially of dependencies. Within Kubernetes, we've found that CVEs don't appear to be tracked for Golang libraries.

Does wide usage of a project suggest that these issues have been overcome? That's not clear to me, particularly since Kubernetes itself needs plenty of improvement.

I've started to look more stringent CII criteria:

One possible approach is for us to require the gold standard, and then work with CII to ensure it covers some of the relevant criteria, or to define an even more rigorous "platinum" level.

We also might want a scalability standard. Is 100 nodes/instances/something sufficiently scalable? 1000?

I also assume we want users to value the CNCF graduated status. As is, it's hard for an external observer to tell whether we're a rubber stamp or made a well informed decision. Perhaps it's worth providing a rationale/justification statement rather than just "+1". 


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