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Cloud Native Ecosystem / Open Source

Orkes to Maintain Conductor Project as Netflix Steps Back

"This strategic decision … is essential for realigning our resources to better serve our business objectives with our internal Conductor fork," Netflix said.
Dec 15th, 2023 1:52pm by
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Orkes, the company commercializing the Conductor open source project created at Netflix, is assuming maintenance of the project after Netflix decided to focus its efforts on Conductor internally.

“The community’s innovation roadmap for Conductor is well aligned with the broader needs of the various developers and organizations that constitute this community. This is distinct from the roadmap Netflix has for its growing internal usage and expansion of Conductor, which is primarily aligned with its company-level objectives. Now that Netflix is officially stepping back from maintenance of the project to focus on its internal Conductor fork, Orkes is committed to stewarding Conductor OSS and its active community going forward,” Orkes said in a statement.

Netflix built out the workflow orchestration platform during its explosive growth and open sourced the project in 2016. Conductor manages the execution, routing and coordination of tasks in a microservices workflow. With more than 13,000 GitHub stars, it’s used at companies including JP Morgan Chase, Tesla, Oracle , American Express, Cisco, and VMware.

“This strategic decision, while difficult, is essential for realigning our resources to better serve our business objectives with our internal Conductor fork,” the company wrote in a statement. “We are deeply grateful for your support and contributions over the years. While Netflix will no longer be maintaining this repo, members of the Conductor community have been active in promoting alternative forks of this project, so we trust that the health of the community will remain strong moving forward.”

Its creators, including Jeu GeorgeViren Baraiya and Boney Sekh, along with Dilip Lukose, launched Cupertino, California-based Orkes in 2022. It offers a managed version of Conductor and most recently announced its AI Orchestration tool to enable workflows to incorporate LLMs and vector embeddings into application development.

“Maintaining an open source project is a lot of work, so we’ve been partnering with Netflix to help manage that over the last two years,” George said in an interview. “Given that we’ve been squarely focused on Conductor … it makes sense for us that we take all the responsibility and support this project and get the community going forward.”

Netflix’s public GitHub repo of Conductor has been archived and Orkes will manage a fork on a new repository going forward. Anyone using the old repository can now point to the new repository for continuity in their projects. It also will have a new website, George said.

“The roadmap for Conductor will now be firmly informed by those who use and love it: the open source community. We’re committed to ensuring that the future development of Conductor is aligned with what you, the community, need and want,” the company noted in a blog post.

“There are over 1,000 companies that are also already using Conductor, and we’ve already started inviting all people who are interested in joining the initiative,” George said. “It’ll be a multiphase process, one that’s going to involve creating a working group. … We just started getting a lot of great responses from other companies who want to stay involved, and we are beginning to have some conversations with them. … We’ll start with probably starting with a working group and then eventually move toward a foundation.”

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