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Argo Project Graduates With Unanimous Support

4 min read

After 33k commits, nearly 200k contributions, 9.6k contributors, and almost 15k pull requests, the Argo Project has officially graduated within the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). The Argo Project was first created and open-sourced in 2017 by Applatix who was later acquired by Intuit. Shortly thereafter, BlackRock, Codefresh, and RedHat joined the project as it moved into the CNCF. Since then, the project has been maintained in a partnership of end-user and vendor companies as it’s continued to grow and dramatically change the way dev and ops teams delivery software and use Kubernetes.

Argo is used to analyze data from CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, run the backbone of software at every Chik-Fil-A, provide data and deployment tooling to Tesla, Google, Ticketmaster, Nvidia, and so many others. The Argo community are the most effective engineering organizations in the world.

The Argo Project is more than a single tool

The Argo Project is headlined by Argo CD and Argo Workflows, two mainstay powerhouses that have become the defacto tools in their respective spaces. Joining Argo CD and Workflows are Argo Events and Rollouts with large successful followings of their own. One of the brilliant decisions made early on was that these tools which have their own uses could be useable with or without the rest of the Argo suite of tooling.

Argo CD is the world’s most popular and fastest growing GitOps tool. It allows users to define a git source of truth for an application and keep that in sync with a destination Kubernetes cluster. This powerful tool gets even more powerful when combined with tools like Argo Rollouts, which handles progressive delivery, and other open source tools like Crossplane for managing infrastructure, or OPA and Kyverno for security policy.

Argo Workflows provides a powerful workflow engine built for Kubernetes where each step operates in its own pod. This provides for massive scale and flexible multi-step workflow tasks. Argo Workflows has been especially popular for data pipelines as well as Kubernetes-native CI/CD pipelines. Workflows becomes especially powerful when paired with Argo Events, a Kubernetes-native event engine. It can be used to detect events in Kubernetes and trigger actions, either in Argo Workflows, or other services, as well as provide a general interface for webhooks and api-calls.

What does CNCF graduation mean?

The CNCF has 3 stages for projects, Sandbox, Incubating, and Graduation. Sandbox projects are generally new and just starting development. They have the lowest requirements. Incubating projects are meant to represent projects in use by early adopters but are growing, and healthy. Graduation projects are said to have crossed the chasm to mainstream adoption and have met rigorous criteria for security, governance, and user-adoption. In Argo’s case, this meant we went through several security reviews, independent audits, governance reviews, and lengthly end-user interviews to show the project has reached full-maturity.

For Argo, most of these criteria were passed over a year ago and it was more about waiting for everyone to become fully educated and clear about just how far the Argo project has come since its creation in 2017.

How we know the Argo Project has gone mainstream

A quick chat with anyone doing engineering or DevOps with Kubernetes will show you exactly why Argo is so popular. It’s user-friendly, flexible, and reliable approach has driven massive adoption. But if you need a list of achievements…

On a personal note, when I wear my Argo shirt, or maintainer jacket people stop me in the airport to ask if I work on the project.  Maintaining Argo sometimes feels like being a member of the Beatles.

Argo at Codefresh

For Codefresh, graduation is an epic event. As maintainers on this project we’ve invested countless hours to making contributions, driving adoption, improving community governance, providing training, and of course building an enterprise experience for delivering software powered by Argo. Our users are running banks, gaming platforms, media and streaming companies, powering national defense, healthcare and more with Argo operating as the underlying technology that enables them to build software more effectively.

We’ve found through years of experience that these tools speed up software delivery, reduce downtime, create more confidence in software delivery with faster remediation, and clarity. If you haven’t tried Argo, signup for Codefresh where you get fully-hosted Argo CD. Workflows and events optimized for CI/CD pipelines. A control-plane for managing GitOps and insights across hundreds or even thousands of Argo instances behind the firewall, in the cloud, or at the edge. It’s an amazing platform.

What’s next for Argo and special thanks

A huge shoutout to Henrik Blixt who lead the relationship with CNCF to make sure the Argo Project was recognized for meeting all the criteria for graduation. Our sponsors Lei Zhang, Savanum Srinivas, and Cathy Zhang (no relation).

We have no intention of slowing down, graduation isn’t a destination, it’s a recognition that the project is fully-mature. From here we’re going to keep adding amazing features, keeping listening to the community, and keep growing this amazing community that gets so much value from these tools. We’ll see you in 2023 and you’ll be amazed at what we do.  ????

Dan Garfield

Dan is the Co-Founder and Chief Open Source Officer at Codefresh. His work in open source includes being an Argo Maintainer, and co-chair of the GitOps Working Group. As a technology leader with a background in full-stack engineering, evangelism, and communications, he led Codefresh's go-to-market strategy and now leads open source strategy. You can follow him at

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