OCI Member Spotlight: Univa

The OCI community is comprised of a diverse set of member companies that are committed to creating open industry standards around the container image format and runtime. This blog series highlights OCI members and their contributions to building an open, portable and vendor neutral specification.  

Name: Rob Lalonde
Title: General Manager, Navops
Company: Univa

Why did you join OCI?
We are super excited by the explosive growth in the container market and our role in helping organizations scale their use of container deployments. We feel it is important for the industry to have an open standard, light-weight, vendor-independent image format and runtime specification that allows for the underpinnings of the container market to be open and community managed. We joined to participate, monitor and support this important initiative and to ensure it meets the needs of our enterprise customers in the areas of workload management, resource management, and scheduling.

How is your organization involved in OCI?
At Univa, we are active in a number of The Linux Foundation initiatives that include OpenHPC and CNCF, in addition to OCI. We believe that these organizations are critical to advancing  distributed computing, and look forward to more, in-depth participation and contributions in the near term.

What are the aspects of the runtime spec and/or image format spec that you are looking forward to most for your company?
The “spec” is the essence of the OCI. Having a standardized specification allows the industry to move much more quickly in building tools and solutions in the layers above. Looking at it another way, a lack of a specification will slow down developers who then have to support multiple formats and runtimes simultaneously, and will greatly slow end user adoption.

How do you plan to use the runtime spec and/or image format spec?
Univa intends to provide fully integrated support for the OCI specification throughout its lines of products– i.e. our Univa Grid Engine product for our HPC customers, as well as our Navops line for microservices oriented deployments.

How will these specifications help your business?
The important deliverables of OCI are more about helping our customers than helping our business. Customers will benefit greatly from a pervasive and standardized container specification that will allow for a plethora of capabilities to be layered above it.

How do you anticipate OCI changing the container technology landscape?  
Much like TCP/IP allows for a vast universe of Internet-enabled applications, a standard container format and runtime will allow for interoperability and pervasiveness that benefits everyone. When everyone uses a common standard for the container infrastructure, all of the layers and products above the container will benefit and can be standardized as well.

What do you believe the benefits of using a runtime and image spec based on the OCI standard are for hosting providers?  For small ISVs, application developers? For end users?
Hosting providers, ISVs, and application developers will benefit from a widely adopted standard that will reduce their need  to support  multiple formats. The pervasiveness of an open and widely adopted specification will greatly benefit end-users as a mature, more stable and standards-based foundation for containerized applications evolves.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining OCI?
The OCI community offers something for every level of participation. The most active will want to join to help drive the standards forward, thus ensuring their needs are addressed. Other participants will be more interested in monitoring the progress, and participating as end users to gain the ultimate benefits of this important standard. Either way, OCI offers a path and participation for all levels of vendors, integrators and most importantly, end users.