Industry leaders come together to drive the growth of eBPF as a transformational technology

The Linux Foundation announced that it is hosting the eBPF Foundation. Founding members include Facebook, Google, Isovalent, Microsoft and Netflix. This comes in advance of the eBPF Summit, a free and virtual event taking place August 18-19, 2021.

eBPF allows developers to safely and efficiently embed programs in any piece of software, including the operating system kernel. As a result, eBPF is quickly becoming the method of choice for achieving a wide range of infrastructure use cases, delivering significant efficiency and performance gains and dramatically reducing the complexity of the system. For example, Facebook is using eBPF as the primary software-defined load balancer in its data centers, and Google is using Cilium to bring eBPF-based networking and security to the managed Kubernetes offerings GKE and Anthos.

“eBPF is a revolutionary technology that allows us to modify operating system behavior in real time without risky or expensive kernel code changes. It’s had a remarkable impact on our ability to iterate quickly on everything from networking to security to containerization,” said Alexei Starovoitov, Co-creator and Maintainer of eBPF, Kernel Developer at Facebook.

eBPF changes the way operating systems and infrastructure services are designed. It bridges the boundary between kernel and user space. It encourages and accelerates innovation and is a significant leap forward in open source technology for networking, security, application profiling/tracing and system observability use cases. eBPF enables users to even combine and apply logic across multiple subsystems which were traditionally completely independent.

“eBPF has redefined the way we think about the operating system and has led to a massive wave of innovation in networking, security, and observability. Because of its deep relevance in the cloud native world, eBPF adoption has been accelerating at an incredible pace,” said Daniel Borkmann, Co-creator and Maintainer of eBPF, Kernel Developer at Isovalent.

By making the OS kernel programmable, infrastructure software can leverage existing layers, making them more intelligent, scalable and feature-rich without continuing to add additional layers of complexity to the system. eBPF has resulted in the development of a completely new generation of tooling in areas such as networking, security, application profiling/tracing and performance troubleshooting that no longer rely on existing kernel functionality but instead actively reprogram runtime behavior without compromising execution efficiency or safety.

The eBPF Foundation will expand the significant level of contributions being made to extend the powerful capabilities of eBPF and grow beyond Linux. It will be the home for open source eBPF projects and technologies and nurture the community through a variety of activities, including summits and other collaboration events in order to further drive the growth and adoption of the eBPF ecosystem.

“eBPF is one of the greatest examples of the kind of innovation that happens in the Linux community and encompasses technologies that are natural for us to host. It also represents the future of operating systems and microservices delivery,” said Mike Dolan, general manager and senior vice president of projects at the Linux Foundation. “We look forward to supporting the work of the eBPF Foundation and community.”

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