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Happy birthday to us! Celebrating CoreOS at four years

CoreOS is celebrating its fourth birthday this month. Join us in a look back at the past four years and at where we are heading, and celebrate with us!

CoreOS was born in 2013

Alex Polvi and Brandon Philips co-founded CoreOS with the fundamental idea of securing the backend of the internet via automated operations. Remember this scrappy company born out of a garage in Palo Alto?

Linux Hackers Rebuild Internet From Silicon Valley Garage (via WIRED).

Since its inception, CoreOS has created and maintained major projects in the open source community, starting with Container Linux and etcd - projects that were necessary for the world of containers to become an easy-to-use, practical reality.

Growing the containers industry alongside the community

The CoreOS team now maintains several keystone open source projects for distributed systems alongside companies like Google, Docker, Red Hat, Microsoft and more. These include Kubernetes, Prometheus, rkt, and more than 100 others. In addition, CoreOS delivers Tectonic, the enterprise-ready Kubernetes solution.

At its foundation, CoreOS believes in open source and community participation. We were a founding member of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and CoreOS staffers currently serve on the CNCF’s Governing Board and its Technical Oversight Committee, which are responsible for marketing and other business oversight and direction of cloud native technologies.

In keeping with this collaborative spirit, CoreOS donated rkt, the pod-native container engine, to the CNCF, with the aim of increasing community stewardship. We also donated CNI, a container network standard enabling simple container networking interoperability that enjoys widespread adoption by most major container systems and container networking systems. And in 2016, one of our team members, Fabian Reinartz, was named a CNCF Community Award-winner for his work on the Prometheus monitoring system. Fabian has contributed immensely to Prometheus’s general development, and has added features like the highly available Alertmanager and integration with Kubernetes.

Now, as we enter our fourth year, CoreOS’s momentum is only accelerating. We recently introduced Operators, tools that program operational knowledge into software to automate the setup and management of complex infrastructure. CoreOS has implemented these in its Tectonic enterprise product to allow users to benefit from automated software updates, and the community has independently started over a dozen new projects to implement Operators for their own software.

In May, we were thrilled to welcome Mitchell Baker, champion for a better web and internet standards, to the CoreOS Board. Her decades of experience in the tech industry and in open source will not only guide us in building a stronger and more secure internet from the server side, but also aid us in continuing our efforts in being a socially conscious company.

We’ve been a Gartner Cool Vendor, named in the InfoWorld Best of Open Source Awards (the “Bossies”), and have been named a Best Place to Work by San Francisco Business Times and hailed as a top company to bet your career on by Business Insider, year over year.

CoreOS today by the numbers

Looking at CoreOS today:

  • We have CoreOS employees in three offices across the US and Europe.
  • Led by co-founders Alex Polvi, CEO, and Brandon Philips, CTO.
  • Backed by $50 million from top venture capital firms (GV, KPCB, Intel Capital, Fuel Capital, Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital and Y-Combinator).
  • Key customers include Global 2000 enterprise companies such as: Ticketmaster, Salesforce, eBay, Nike, Verizon, and the International Securities Exchange.
  • Quay joined CoreOS in 2015 and has since become the most-used container registry.
  • Redspread, a Kubernetes startup and steward of popular open source projects, joined CoreOS in 2016.
  • CoreOS has more than 70,000 followers on Twitter to date.
  • We estimate 1 million unique instances of Container Linux are created per month.
  • Top projects like etcd, created by CoreOS, has 14,000+ stars on GitHub.

We also recently held our third community conference, CoreOS Fest, with nearly 800 participants across our week of activities. For a look back at the event, check out the videos of all the talks about containers, Kubernetes, and more and see this snapshot of the event.

Where is CoreOS going

We discussed how to break free from cloud vendor lock-in with Kubernetes and open source at CoreOS Fest 2017. We believe that by tying together automated operations and open source cloud services we can help enterprises break free from the proprietary cloud confines providing enterprises ultimate control and freedom of their infrastructure. We have spent the past four years setting up the open source projects that needed to exist to show the power of containerized infrastructure. Moving forward we plan to liberate enterprises from cloud vendor lock-in.

The benefits of those efforts are nowhere better demonstrated than in our flagship offering, CoreOS Tectonic, which provides freedom and choice to enterprises. Tectonic delivers a life line by making containerized application deployment and management quicker and easier, increasing resource efficiency and delivering better scalability and reliability. It allows portability across cloud environments, giving greater flexibility. Since launching Tectonic in 2015, the product has had 28 releases, always following the release of upstream Kubernetes. Tectonic is the only solution providing upstream Kubernetes. With Tectonic you receive the benefits of running the latest stable version of Kubernetes with the addition of enterprise security, the time savings of one-click updates to the latest Kubernetes version and the ability to run it on any platform.

This industry is only a few years in the making, but there is already compelling data revealing that enterprises are embracing this new approach to infrastructure. For example, in a recent 451 Research report, nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of respondents indicated they are using Kubernetes, with top benefits of the software identified as freeing up resources to focus priorities, hybrid-cloud/cross-cloud support, the ability to bring your own compute, and avoiding vendor lock-in.

Celebrate with us!

To celebrate these successes, we are asking the community to share your birthday wishes, photos, or favorite things about CoreOS by tweeting (include #CoreOSbday) or by sharing direct feedback through our short Google Form. We'll follow up with a CoreOS package of love to our top picks!

We will also add your top tweets to our Cluster of Love. Here are some of our recent favorites.


etcd operator tweet



CoreOS Fest tweet



Operators announcement tweet


Want to join in on the CoreOS birthday fun? Come to one of our meetups:

  • Join our NYC Meetup on July 13 to hear about how we securely distribute updates from a container package repository to hosts running containers, Kubernetes 1.7 and why you should contribute, and about being part of the OSS community, particularly Kubernetes.
  • Join our San Francisco Meetup on July 13 to celebrate the CoreOS birthday with cake and talks. Learn about Kubectl tips and tricks and secure networking for Kubernetes.

Also, if you are interested in helping CoreOS further our vision of secure, reliable, container-based infrastructure, CoreOS is hiring. In fact we have 30 job openings as of today!