Crossplane at 5 Years: Past, Present, and Future of Building Control Planes

Today we celebrate five years of Crossplane. As founder of the project, I take great pride in this community and today celebrate this moment with you as well as thank you all for your support through the years.

Crossplane is the cloud-native control plane framework. Platform engineers build control planes that manage all their infrastructure using familiar Kubernetes constructs, instead of relying on a hard-to-manage scripting paradigm. It enables you to orchestrate applications and infrastructure no matter where they run. You can compose resources into custom abstractions that power a self-service platform experience where developers can provision and manage the infrastructure they depend on.

Crossplane is an open source incubating Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) project. That means it is stable and used successfully in production environments, in fact, by hundreds of you!

Check out these Crossplane project stats:

  • Hundreds of companies using the project in production including some of the most iconic enterprise companies
  • 85 releases in 5 years
  • 8,300+ stargazers across the project repos
  • 1,800+ contributors
  • 86,000+ contributions
  • 10,300+ Slack members

Celebrate with us today and show your support for Crossplane by giving the project a star 🌟 on GitHub or adding your company to the public adopters list. All of these actions help keep the project momentum moving forward!

At this 5-year mark, let’s reflect on where Crossplane has grown and where we’re taking it ahead.

A Walk Down Crossplane Lane

Here are some of the project’s biggest moments over the past five years.

2018-2019: Defining the vision and laying the foundation

2020: Landing on the modern API with v1.0

2021: Moving out of the Sandbox to production-ready

  • May 4, 2021: Crossplane Community Day held at KubeCon Europe with hundreds of community members and talks from Google, Red Hat, Guidewire, Equinix, and more.
  • September 14, 2021: Crossplane matures within the CNCF from a sandbox to an incubating project, formally marking its stability and that it is used successfully in production environments. AWS and IBM contributed to the celebration, along with users like Accenture and Deutsche Bahn.

2022: Expanding the world of control planes

  • January 2022: Introduction of code generation framework designed to generate Crossplane providers from Terraform (see latest framework Upjet)
  • October 2022: Unveiling of the Marketplace, a free and unified space to discover the rich ecosystem of Crossplane Providers and Configurations to use in your control planes.

2023: The biggest year yet

“Crossplane has redefined how we approach building platforms in just five years with its unique open source control plane approach built on Kubernetes. Its growth is a testament to the efforts of hundreds of contributors and adopters. We look forward to seeing the Crossplane community grow and continue to push the state of open source platform engineering forward,” said Chris Aniszczyk, CTO, CNCF.

What is your reflection of Crossplane through the years and where do you want to see it go in the years ahead? Let us know by commenting and tagging us on LinkedIn or in the Crossplane Slack.

Future of Crossplane

In some ways, Crossplane needs to become “boring” technology, to do what it does well and be ubiquitous. We also recognize that it needs to become even faster and easier to take your platform vision all the way to production.

As we look into 2024, here are essential focus areas to mature the project:

  • Streamline and simplify the developer experience of Crossplane with a focus on getting your control plane right the first time with the help of the Crossplane CLI and more through SIG-DevEx.
  • Harden Crossplane Providers and drastically improve their performance and resource usage.
  • Make it even easier to manage and publish Crossplane packages, like a provider or function, in the marketplace with a self-service experience for all experience levels in the community.
  • Help the community build around the project by maturing Crossplane Composition Functions and rapidly expanding the ecosystem of reusable Functions.
  • Continue to increase governance and community involvement as we set up the project for CNCF Graduation.

Get Involved with the Community

We hope you’ve enjoyed this short walk with us down memory lane and we want to express our gratitude to the entire community once again for supporting the project to get to where it is today. As we continue to grow and mature, there are a number of simple actions you can take to continue showing your support.

Star the project on GitHub

Go directly to GitHub to star the project. It means a lot to us and helps the project to continue getting discovered and adopted.

Add Your Company to the Adopters List

Fill out this form or directly add your company to the Crossplane adopters list on GitHub. This is essential for moving the project forward towards Graduation and adding validation for more members to join.

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