Re: thought leadership

Quinton Hoole

+100 to what Liz said.

I think that the Storage and Serverless working groups have created very useful "landscape white papers" (see below) to clarify common terminology, ways to evaluate alternative approaches, and an overview of types of options available. My intention is very much to encourage the CNCF SIGs to continue to produce similar educational content (in addition to their other responsibilities).

Regarding security specifically, I have for some time been pushing the SAFE working group to produce similar content, but to my knowledge this has not happened yet.  I hope that the new still-to-be-formally-named SIG in that space will have at the top of their priority list to address that shortcoming.

Storage Landscape White Paper:

Serverless White Paper


From: cncf-toc@... [cncf-toc@...] on behalf of Liz Rice [liz@...]
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2019 10:31 AM
To: Erin Boyd
Cc: Joe Beda; CNCF TOC
Subject: Re: [cncf-toc] thought leadership

"Thought leadership" in the sense of innovation - this fundamentally has to come from across the community. The TOC, with support and input from the new SIGs, is curating, not inventing. I doubt that's what you meant, Erin, though I can imagine a semi-fictional group of execs screaming to be told what it is they need to innovate.

"Thought leadership" In the sense of explanations - IMO a big part of "marketing" in CNCF should be about explaining to end users how to go about adopting cloud native approaches, and the various decisions that go into that. The trail map is the starting point for this today, but I do think there's more we could do here. For example, where we have multiple projects in the CNCF that serve the same or similar purpose, we could be doing more to help users decide which project suits their use case best. I'd like to see the SIGs taking on some of the content creation here. For example, it would be great to provide some high-level guidance on why you might choose, say, Envoy in some circumstances / use cases, and Linkerd in others, and perhaps a Service Mesh SIG would be the best organization to craft project- and vendor-neutral language on this. It's a difficult job, requires real knowledge of the projects but also objectivity in assessing the relative strengths of the different options, but a SIG with representatives from the different projects who come at it with the right attitude might be able to produce it. I'm just using Service Mesh-Envoy-Linkerd as an example, there are other similar cases where decisions have to be made and we don't currently provide much information.  

In the specific case of thought leadership in security, one of the things I would like to see come out of SAFE is guidance on how end user companies can achieve compliance with things like PCI or HIPAA through Cloud Native. We should be able to come up with at least some useful pointers via the expertise of a SIG, so that all our end users don't have to each come up with the same thinking independently. This is something that we discussed in the early days of SAFE and I think could be genuinely useful guidance. 

These pieces of what is essentially content creation as responsibilities that SIGs could take on in addition to liaison/delegation wrt the TOC for projects.

Totally need to agree on the need to be clear and transparent about why projects get accepted or not. My understanding (and I haven't been through this yet personally so I could have the wrong end of the stick) is that sometimes feedback has been kept private to spare the blushes of the project in question. But if projects are getting rejected and don't understand why, we should absolutely improve that. 

On Fri, Mar 22, 2019 at 9:46 PM Erin Boyd <eboyd@...> wrote:
Hi Joe,
Thanks for your insight.
Yes, I agree our job as part of this community is fostering projects where they are in the process and diversifying the landscape.
But it is as equally important to have well defined guidelines for projects to understand how to get to the next level, why they weren't accepted or even why they were as they come up for annual review. Not only does it help guide the projects, it also provides a standard by which we perform due diligence that is consistent, year over year. We have certainly had some growing pains the last few years and no doubt will continue to grow our process moving forward. It's imperative to clearly define what bar these projects are being held against and as a member of the TOC we can directly point to these criteria. My fear, as I am sure others hold, is that the initial bar was low and is increasingly becoming higher for each project and the perception of the community will be that we are kingmakers despite it all.

I am hoping the SIGs provide the technical expertise and communication back to the TOC to formulate these guidelines.  This will allow us to be 'opinionated as a community' rather than just the TOC's collective opinion.


On Fri, Mar 22, 2019 at 8:53 AM Joe Beda <jbeda@...> wrote:

Hey Erin,


I think a lot of us bristle at the term “thought leadership”.  One of the principles of the TOC is that we are not kingmakers – see


Best practices can often be the result of trying to boil complex topics down to a one size fits all. 


But, honestly, I’m not sure I agree that we shouldn’t be more opinionated. That is something that I think this current TOC is considering.  How and when and what that look likes is still TBD.


As for the SIGs – the role of the SIGs is to assist the TOC in terms of its duties.  That primarily concerns evaluating projects for inclusion and graduation.  As part of that, forming some clear technical understanding (and documentation) on where the boundaries are and what is “cloud native” in that domain may make sense.  But producing something that is aimed at end users is, honestly, outside the scope of both the TOC and the CNCF in general.  My gut is that if there is a project that wants to do something like this they should form a project and submit it to the TOC.


(There is a fine line between marketing/product marketing and technical documentation.  The CNCF does have a charter to do marketing but I’m guessing what you are looking for crosses that line)


Other TOC members may have different views on this.




From: <cncf-toc@...> on behalf of Erin Boyd <eboyd@...>
Date: Friday, March 22, 2019 at 7:36 AM
To: CNCF TOC <cncf-toc@...>
Subject: [cncf-toc] thought leadership


Hi All,

I had a call with some executives looking to understand the CNCF's role better in the industry in terms of what I could gather as 'thought leadership.'

They are looking to the CNCF to provide to them direction and best practices for things like security in the cloud native landscape.

To me, this feels like something the newly formed SIGs would be providing and not necessarily something we have today, would you all agree?

They are strongly focused on telcos and security, both of which I haven't been focused on so would like your input if I am speaking out of turn.

Thanks in advance,




Liz Rice
@lizrice  | (0) 780 126 1145

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