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When in Austin, you keep things weird. (GeekWire Photo / Tom Krazit)

AUSTIN – Two of the biggest cloud companies on the planet have agreed to support the work of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, adding their names to a list that includes nearly everyone shaping the direction of modern cloud computing.

Alibaba is now a platinum member after joining at the gold level earlier this year, and Chief Architect Hong Tang will join the Governing Board, which includes leading cloud technologists from the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google, Docker, and a host of other companies. Tang estimated that Alibaba is running hundreds of thousands of containers in production at any given moment, not including spikes like the company recent saw during Singles’ Day, which is like Black Friday meets Valentine’s Day in China.

Baidu has also agreed to join the CNCF at the gold level, which requires less of a commitment; backers of the foundation contribute money and time toward advancing the projects and choosing new ones to incubate. Other companies that joined the foundation Wednesday include Salesforce and JFrog.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation hosts 14 open-source projects that are giving users the tools to build businesses on cloud technologies. The key project is Kubernetes, the container-orchestration software originally developed at Google and open-sourced in 2015 to create the CNCF.

“We are aiming to construct the software infrastructure for the next decade,” said Dan Kohn, executive director of the CNCF, opening the show before 4,000 cloud enthusiasts. That’s actually more people than have attended the first four CNCF events around the world combined, he said.

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