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OCI Member Spotlight: IBM

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The OCI community comprises 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: Jeffrey Borek
Title: WW Program Director, Open Technology
Company: IBM

Why did you join OCI?
IBM has a long history (over 15 years) of working collaboratively in OPEN operating system, virtualization, and container technologies, but the complexity of some of the technologies has remained challenging.  We became very interested in the emerging ecosystem around next-generation containers that grew out of the efforts of a number of innovative companies – led by the initial open sourcing of the Docker project (v0.9) by Docker, Inc. in March of 2013. When Docker announced their contribution to help form the Open Container Initiative (OCI)  mid-2015, IBM was pleased because bringing together both open source and open governance is important for our clients.

How is your organization involved in OCI?
IBM is one of the founding members OCI. I’m the newly elected Chair of the OCI Trademark Board, and have co-chaired the Certification Working Group for the past year. IBM has been consistently among the top companies contributing code to the project. We have three active contributors and additional technical resources investing time in the community so that these fundamental components can live/grow beyond the success or failures of any one single company.

How do you plan to use the runtime spec and/or image format spec?
IBM plans to work on adopting both the core container runtime and image specifications to ensure choice with consistency across IBM Cloud and multiple product and services teams. You can see the fruits of the OCI draft specifications live today as part of the IBM Bluemix Container Service. In addition, we are part of the OCI Certification Working Group (CertWG) that is working to help establish a basic certification process to promote portability and interoperability, fostering more rapid adoption across the ecosystem and industry environments.

How will these specifications help your business?
IBM believes hybrid solutions are the future of the Cloud, allowing clients to more quickly and easily package and deploy applications to run across environments. The open standardization of container runtime and image specifications will further jumpstart the “container-native” cloud computing revolution by enabling portability in a multi-cloud ecosystem. The IBM Systems Group is also working to ensure that our clients who want to leverage high-performance hardware platforms can effectively run open container technologies on IBM Power and z Systems.

How do you anticipate OCI changing the container technology landscape?
Imagine a scenario in which the OCI was never established. It is likely that multiple, competing container runtime packages would have continued to emerge – resulting in a lot of duplication of effort in a portion of the stack that many think about as “plumbing”. Multiple, cascading problems would then follow in the areas of container portability, compatibility, and interoperability. Ultimately, this would freeze the marketplace as clients would ‘sit on the sidelines’ and wait until a shakeout occurred. Having multiple container leaders from across industry come together in the OCI, we can establish common standards under open governance. We can also avoid most of the pitfalls described above, and foster more rapid adoption.

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?
In one word, freedom. For hosting providers, they can build for the future with the freedom from worry over investing in infrastructure that could become obsolete because of proprietary issues. For ISVs and application developers, they are free  to leverage common foundational container components based upon open standards – so they can focus on their unique value-add. For end users, there’s freedom in knowing that by adopting OCI-based technology they have less risk of vendor lock-in.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining OCI?
Please do! As we enter 2017, there is still good work to be done. The latest spec releases  (Runtime v1.0.0-rc4 & Image format v1.0.0-rc4) still have room for improvement. Think of areas such as continuing to expand the cross-platform capabilities (Solaris, FreeBSD, Windows, etc.) and multi-architectural support, validating the OCI image interoperability across runtimes and platforms, and more.

If you are looking for some additional background on the OCI, check out my blog on the OCI from this time last year. If you are already convinced, join the community now! Feel free to follow and DM me @jeffborek if you have any questions. Hope to see you at an OCI meeting soon.

 

OCI 2017 Election Results Come In As Community Releases v1.0.0 RC4

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By Chris Aniszczyk (@cra)

It’s been a busy start to the year for OCI! We are getting closer to issuing our v1.0 releases as the community just released v1.0.0 release candidate 4 (RC4) for the runtime-spec and image-spec.

The final v1.0 release, which will get us closer to true portability and standardization, is expected later this year. You can find details about the release process and steps needed to hit v1.0 here. Also we released v1.0-RC0 of the recently created go-digest project to serves as the common digest package across the container ecosystem.

In addition, the OCI Technical Oversight Board (TOB)– which is comprised of independently elected individuals who provide oversight of the technical leadership and serve as a point of appeal– has just elected four board members who will each serve a two-year term, commencing immediately. They are:

  • Michael Crosby [Docker]
  • Vishnu Kannan [Google]
  • Greg Kroah-Hartmann [Linux Kernel]
  • Vincent Batts [Red Hat]

Our newest TOB members join existing TOB members in the middle of two-year terms:

  • Brandon Philips [CoreOS]
  • Diogo Monica [Docker]
  • Jason Bouzane [Google]
  • John Gossman [Microsoft]
  • Chris Wright [Red Hat]

Also, the TOB voted among themselves to re-elect their current Chair, Brandon Philips.

TOB members work for a variety of organizations including: CoreOS, Docker, Google, Microsoft, and Red Hat; and are involved as maintainers of many projects in addition to OCI including Docker, rkt, the Linux kernel, and more.  It’s important to note that while we have the TOB in place as a means of checks-and-balances, it is assumed that the OCI developer community will handle most issues. Additionally, the TOB is be responsible for adding and removing OCI projects; most recently, the addition of the go-digest project, which provides a strong hash-identity implementation in Go and services as a common digest package to be used across the container ecosystem. You can follow the TOB on github here: https://github.com/opencontainers/tob

I’d also like to extend a thank you to all of our outgoing TOB members for their service! We look forward to your continued involvement with the OCI and thank you for your time and commitment.

Similarly, the OCI Trademark Board, which is run by the OCI member community to manage the overall operations (including the OCI budget) and certification program of the project, just elected its new Chair, Jeff Borek (IBM). Congratulations Jeff (@jeffborek) and also a hearty thank you to Doug Nassaur (AT&T) who served as our inaugural Trademark Board Chair.

As always, we welcome contributions from across the industry and our success depends on the support and collaboration of many. If you’re interested in contributing to the technology, please join the OCI developer community which is open to everyone. If you’re building products on OCI technology, we recommend joining as a member and participating in the upcoming certification program.

 

OCI Member Spotlight: Rancher Labs

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

Name: Darren Shepherd
Title: Chief Architect
Company: Rancher Labs

Why did you join OCI?
The OCI is a great opportunity for the community to collectively build a common container runtime standard. That opportunity was missed with virtual machines several years ago – there was never a standard for VMs that pragmatically worked. It’s refreshing to be able to approach things differently with containers.

At Rancher Labs, everything we build is open source – there’s no closed or proprietary versions of our product. For us, it’s not just a matter of easing adoption, but a belief that the best technology comes from transparency and collaboration. Being a part of OCI, and working with our peers to guide standards development, is an important component of that.

What are the aspects of the runtime spec and/or image format spec that you are looking forward to most for your company?
We’re looking forward to having well-defined specifications being widely adopted. This allows both users and vendors to focus on innovation instead of shifting format expectations.

How do you plan to use the runtime spec and/or image format spec?
We already use the draft specifications in everything built by Rancher. We use Docker as a fundamental packaging and runtime engine, which conforms to OCI draft runtime spec (via runc) and draft image format spec.

How will these specifications help your business?
Our users rely on Rancher container management platform to integrate with a wide variety of container technologies. Obviously, this is much easier to do when we have a common set of standards. But, more importantly, specifications give users confidence that the solutions they invest time and effort into will work for the long haul, without precluding adoption of new innovations. In short, having specifications lets us build the best product we can so our users can do the same.  

How do you anticipate OCI changing the container technology landscape?  
The promise of containers lies in them being truly portable. OCI enables that by ensuring various technologies can stick to a common standard. Going forward, image and runtime specifications will be a powerful platform on which container-based applications can be built.  

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?
The OCI standards are key to building a large ecosystem that everyone – ISVs, developers, hosting providers, etc. – can plug into. With a common runtime and image spec, hosting providers can tap into the widest possible user base. ISVs can package and test their apps once and be assured they will run everywhere. In addition, developers have access the widest selection of tools, while end users benefit from higher quality and more robust applications.

As a community, we should be enabling the entire spectrum of container users to focus on building the best of breed solution for their own particular set of technologies, without having to worry about the full, end-to-end solution.

Consider joining the OCI community if you’re interested in contributing to container standards.

 

OCI Member Spotlight: ContainerShip

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

Name: Norman Joyner
Title: CTO
Company: ContainerShip

Why did you join OCI?
Standardization and portability are core to ContainerShip’s vision of the future of web infrastructure. These characteristics lay the groundwork for organizations to more easily attain true hybrid and multi-cloud hosting, in a quicker, and more repeatable fashion. Joining OCI was a no-brainer as it aligns with our mission, and allows us to help shape standards for container technologies now and in the future.

How is your organization involved in OCI?
We are currently in the process of implementing the draft OCI runtime and image format specifications as defaults in containership, our open source container management platform. We look forward to contributing back to the OCI community as we finalize our implementation, and maintain it in the future.

What are the aspects of the the runtime spec and/or image format spec that you are looking forward to most for your company?
The hook specification in the runtime helps enable our container management platform gain access to all phases of a container lifecycle in order to inject platform-specific information to facilitate in the scheduling and manipulation of containers across clusters.

How do you plan to use the runtime spec and/or image format spec?
Our team is working diligently to implement runc (the default runtime-spec implementation) as the default container runtime on containership. Our internal codebase is predominantly written in node, so as part of our implementation we are also actively working on a node runc remote API client that will be open-sourced for the rest of the community to use.

How will these specifications help your business?
There remains uncertainty from many end users regarding the rapidly evolving infrastructure toolset. OCI provides our users peace of mind, knowing our technology is built on industry standards. Our business is able to provide our customers with a solution capable of running across a variety of platforms in a consistent manner.

How do you anticipate OCI changing the container technology landscape?
OCI’s work is poised to standardize workloads across all computing environments, public and private clouds alike. This standardization is fundamental to increased team collaboration, workload portability, application scalability, as well as increased application delivery speed. As software continues to “eat the world,” these attributes are key to the success of all businesses, not just strictly software companies. I believe the standards OCI is putting in place today will continue to increase container adoption, and the aforementioned benefits will more soon be realized.

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?
OCI standards promote interoperability and help prevent vendor lock-in. This is a huge win for application developers, as platforms such as containership which implement the specification, will unlock a wealth of cloud providers to choose from and migrate between.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining OCI?
There’s no time like the present. Join the OCI community to help shape industry standards; your input is appreciated!

OCI Member Spotlight: SUSE

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

Name: Michal Svec
Title: Senior Product Manager, Virtualization and Containers
Company: SUSE

Why did you join OCI?
SUSE is a pioneer in open source software, with a very long history of contributing to open source projects and initiatives. In particular, SUSE has been involved with container technologies since the early days (2010). OCI’s efforts to build a vendor-neutral, portable and open specification and runtime format that delivers on the promise of containers as a source of application portability aligns directly with SUSE’s efforts to build sustainable enterprise solutions.

How is your organization involved in OCI?
As an organization committed to the development of open standards –and our long history of open source software ecosystem contributions–SUSE has been a contributor to OCI since the project formed.  Some of our main contributions to OCI include:

  • We’re one of the maintainers of the reference OCI container runtime specification implementation runC, a core OCI project.
  • We’ve recently started a project called umoci, which is the first OCI-native image manipulation and management tool. This tool is being developed with the goal of being contributed back into the OCI so the community can fully utilize the power of this tooling.
  • We have also contributed exploratory work, such as rootless containers, to runC, which is an interesting new area in the container field. Rootless containers allow the creation of containers without the need for privileges (something that is useful with, say, academic computing clusters and similar shared environments where administrators are hesitant to install software that runs as root). While this kind of work may not have any immediate business applications, it benefits the wider container community and will help inspire further innovation.

What are the aspects of the the runtime spec and/or image format spec that you are looking forward to most for your company?
The stability and interoperability of the runtime and image format specifications are by far the most exciting aspects of the OCI specifications. This allows for community creation of a diverse range of tooling, which will ultimately provide a much richer platform that SUSE (and others) can support and maintain. In addition, it means that we can confidently provide and contribute to such tooling, knowing that it will remain aligned with the needs of the broader community.

How do you plan to use the runtime spec and/or image format spec?
At SUSE, we plan to integrate support for OCI into our Open Build Service and KIWI Application builder offerings, to provide support for dependency tracking and all of the other benefits provided by our build service story. This will be facilitated by an open source project we have developed called umoci (referenced above), that we hope will become a standard for how people interact with OCI images. In addition, we contribute to other projects, such as skopeo, that may become a part of this OCI image-building lifecycle.

Apart from the benefits offered to SUSE’s business, this will be a very significant contribution to the openSUSE community as well as the community of other distributions which use OBS (such as Fedora, Arch Linux, Debian) and the container community as a whole. SUSE believes in an “open” open source philosophy; it is very important that we contribute to openSUSE and other open communities.

In addition, we also contribute to CRI-O, which will allow Kubernetes to create and manage containers using nothing but OCI tooling and specifications to run distributed clusters of containers. With the recent announcement of SUSE’s Container as a Service Platform, we hope that CRI-O will eventually become a part of that product.

How will these specifications help your business?
Containers are revolutionizing both the development and distribution of applications, which is set to grow by leaps and bounds. Standardization helps avoid fragmentation that can happen during explosive growth of new technology. Our customers can benefit from the standards- based open source technology that allows more choices and reduces the risk of being locked into a specific implementation, which in turn helps preserve their investments in standards-based container technologies.

How do you anticipate OCI changing the container technology landscape?
Even though we haven’t hit the v1.0 release yet, the OCI has already changed the container technology landscape quite significantly, as it has enabled standardization of many projects that support the OCI specifications. Such projects include runV, the Clear Containers OCI runtime, grootfs, Mesos, and several others. In addition, OCI’s goal of interoperability will also lead to future projects for a variety of environments and workloads.

Thanks to OCI, new innovative technologies such as rootless containers have been possible. At SUSE, we’ll continue to contribute our technical expertise to help shape the future of container technologies.

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?
Having an open standard for containerization allows end users to avoid being locked into proprietary stacks, while it also allows ISVs and hosting providers to benefit from a rich community of tooling that is interoperable with their stack. An application developer can have the confidence that their application will run on their preferred platform, without the concern of portability to other platforms. Overall, it’s a net benefit for everyone involved.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining OCI?
The best way to get involved in the OCI is to start contributing to the various projects, as with any open source project. If you have experience or a new perspective on the intricacies of container images and runtimes, then your contributions will benefit the community. The ongoing success of the OCI is dependent on a diverse base of contributors coming to agreement on what features and requirements need to be standardised across various platforms. Contributors are always welcome!

OCI Member Spotlight: Apcera

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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: Henry Stapp
Title: Director, Product Management
Company: Apcera

Why did you join OCI?
The rapidly evolving container ecosystem has created a variety of disparate image and runtime types. The goal behind the Open Container Initiative that motivated Apcera to join was the desire to create a common standard. Maintaining compatibility across different image types and runtimes is a large burden for vendors today, while contributing to and supporting a common standard helps build better products in the long run.

At Apcera, we care deeply about standards. For example, we have open-sourced one of the first independent implementations of the App Container (appc) specification, called Kurma. In particular, Kurma implements the appc specification while leveraging runc and the runtime specification  from the Open Container Initiative (OCI).

How is your organization involved in OCI?
We focus on the interoperability aspects of the specification and what it brings to today’s enterprises. When you look at the magnitude of connectivity, communications, access rights, and identity that’s coming in container management platforms along with what is next with IoT, Apcera, as a member of OCI, can get in front of this emerging technology in a collaborative, ecosystem-oriented way.

What are the aspects of the runtime spec and/or image format spec that you are looking forward to most for your company?
We are mainly interested in improving image portability between different runtimes, so the image specification definition is where we focus most. We want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to move to a container management platform like Apcera by having better support for their current container workloads. When customers want to try Apcera, we do not want any barriers. By supporting a widely used runtime spec and image format, users will have the utmost confidence that their workloads will be supported.

How do you plan to use the runtime spec and/or image format spec?
Today our open source container runtime, called Kurma, implements the App Container (appc) specification and leverages runc from the Open Container Initiative (OCI). We want Kurma to be standards-based, and intend to have Kurma implement OCI specifications as they get finalized in v1.0 and gradually build them into the core of Kurma. As OCI gains parity with appc and gains adoption, it would naturally make sense to have Kurma’s core focused on OCI as well.

How will these specifications help your business?
We believe de facto standards and technologies that have been adopted early on will need to be included and will need to work well together moving forward. Standard specifications benefit customers and furthers the ecosystem.

For instance, if the different container management platforms adopt the new OCI image format, then it could be possible to have workloads created by different technologies deployed through Kubernetes, Apcera, or others running in an OCI-compliant runtime and image format. This ecosystem needs both specialization and standardization of interfaces at the same time in order to form comprehensive solutions.

How do you anticipate OCI changing the container technology landscape?
Today, container technologies are fragmented (e.g., there are several container models for Linux, Windows, Solaris, IBM mainframes and so on) and many competing systems have emerged. As OCI standards mature, enterprises can invest in container technology without fear of running into compatibility problems.

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?
For small ISVs, technology based on OCI specifications provide a foundational standard. Organizations can start with container and image specs and grow as needed by layering compatible technology such as networking, storage, and orchestration. Individual application developers and small software startups could install tooling from container images. If they need mysql, rather than struggling with OS-dependent packaging, they could just launch a mysql container image.

The benefits may vary for hosting providers. Big companies have bigger budgets, but vary in container adoption levels. OCI-based technologies can give organizations that are less experienced in the space a launching point into containers, possibly with guidance from the hosting provider. However, more experienced customers may already be used to specific container technology for their specific needs that drift from the “standard.” By having a broader base of users leveraging OCI as a foundation, hosting providers will have an easier job supporting more clients.  

What advice would you give to someone considering joining OCI?
The image specification for containers is a viable OCI community effort that we all contribute to and can benefit from. And this is just the beginning! Open source initiatives and ecosystem collaboration are driving innovation across cloud native architectures to create a unified and shared body of best practices. If you want a front row seat, you should consider joining.

OCI Member Spotlight: Portworx

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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: Eric Han
Title: VP, Product Management
Company: Portworx

Why did you join OCI?
In order to innovate in a way that benefits users, the industry needs something similar to the Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), but for vendor-neutral containers. The OCI has created this community and is generating the momentum that we believe the industry requires.

Just as software is eating the world, containers will remake infrastructure. At Portworx, we are building storage infrastructure for containers, and our customers want innovation focused on what matters to them: more agility and the ability to rely on common experiences based on standardized container formats and runtimes. The OCI is critical for such user-focused innovation.

What are the aspects of the runtime spec and/or image format spec that you are looking forward to most for your company? How do you plan to use them?
The specifications and resulting implementations will be a core part of what we support for our Linux users today and our Windows users in the future.

We’re most looking forward to leveraging Content Integrity and Archival Formats, as they would enable protection before workloads start and optimizations when workloads are parked on-disk. We plan to submit a reference implementation to help integrate both Content Integrity and Archiving.

How will these specifications help your business?
Users want to be sure that innovative new technologies are based on their core and common experiences. Customers have often asked us about the next phase of container technologies and how it will evolve as an ecosystem; for us, the answer starts with standards and the work here at the OCI.

How do you anticipate the OCI changing the container technology landscape?
We’re hopeful the container landscape will evolve in a way that optimizes innovation across the board while also preserving portability and all the original benefits of containers. Ultimately, this means multiple, well-supported container experiences in production, which starts with the image format and runtime specs that the OCI is developing, followed by securing and optimizing infrastructure and application experiences, all using containers.

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?
As a company building storage for containers, our customers run on public clouds and across a variety of physical and virtual environments. So to make it more concrete, we see a world where ISVs package distributed, microservice-style applications on a runc or another OCI-defined environment. These applications get distributed onto common platforms in the cloud and on-premise that support the OCI spec, and customers are able choose without concern of portability or lock-in.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining OCI?
What are you waiting for? Pick an area to contribute to and jump in! The community appreciates your support.

OCI Member Spotlight: Huawei

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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: Nan Zhou
Title: Senior Standards Engineer
Company: Huawei Technologies Co.,Ltd.

Why did you join OCI?
Huawei sees container portability as one of the most critical aspects in container technology. We believe that the industry needs OCI’s open standards, which allow others to build, pull and run containers anywhere. Huawei, therefore, joined OCI to help standardize necessary container technologies to ensure enhanced container portability.

How is your organization involved in OCI?
Huawei contributors are very active in the community. For example, Qiang Huang is one of the maintainers of the runc and runtime-tools projects. Chenye Liang created OCT, which was later merged with the OCI Tools project, and became the runtime-tools project. Huawei also serves in the OCI Trademark Board and Certification Working Group (which is currently underway).

How do you plan to use the runtime spec and/or image format spec?
Huawei container solutions such as FusionStage will use the OCI compatible runtime and image spec, allowing us to better focus on customer needs.

How will these specifications help your business?
The open standards of OCI (runtime spec and image format spec) are protecting the market from fragmentation by creating a multi-vendor environment that brings interoperability and a guarantee of quality. These are the basis for faster and wider adoption of container technology.

How do you anticipate OCI changing the container technology landscape?
The industry needs a solid foundation in which to build a strong container ecosystem; we believe this solid foundation is found in OCI’s specifications.  And the new standard development process implemented in OCI, which is different from traditional standardization organizations but achieves similar goals, can be applied to other open source software.

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?
Once built, application images can run everywhere, regardless of different types/implementations of runtime. Therefore, OCI standards reduce the complexity of developing applications and avoid vendor lock-in for all container players.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining OCI?
The community is open and contributions are welcome. Join the community, bring your knowledge and shape the industry standards together: https://www.opencontainers.org/community

OCI Member Spotlight: Pivotal

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

Name: James Bayer
Title: VP of Product
Company: Pivotal

Why did you join Open Container Initiative (OCI)?
Pivotal’s work with containers is completely aligned with the purpose of the OCI, quoted as “creating open industry standards around container formats and runtime.” The roots of Pivotal’s work on containers started in 2011 with Cloud Foundry, an open source project that has enabled us to gain a lot of experience using containers on large-scale production deployments. Cloud Foundry started off as a single company project initially at VMware and then at Pivotal, before graduating to the Cloud Foundry Foundation, a large, foundation-organized community with open governance. Pivotal had a very positive experience with the Cloud Foundry Foundation, the community grew and we accomplished more together. Just as with Cloud Foundry Foundation, we believed that the timing was right for formalizing how a larger group could work together on containers through the OCI. We believe that participating in the OCI will advance container technology, grow the container ecosystem and help Pivotal accomplish our mission of transforming the way the world builds software.

How is your organization involved in OCI?
Our first important milestone was to adopt OCI runC as Cloud Foundry’s core container runtime. This was a significant milestone that we recently achieved. I am excited that we have completely transitioned to runC for Pivotal Web Services which is Pivotal’s hosted instance of Cloud Foundry. This is very meaningful because it demonstrates that runC has already achieved one of its main goals and become a shared foundational software component in two of the most popular projects using containers in Cloud Foundry and Docker.

What are the aspects of the runtime spec and/or image format spec that you are looking forward to most for your company?
The stability of a published and versioned container image specification is very important. Users can be confident that whatever version of the specification they use to produce the image can be inspected and will know whether the target deployment platform will run and support that image. When new innovations and features are introduced, users can know which ones are supported where. This removes uncertainty and increases the likelihood of interoperability.

How do you plan to use the runtime spec and/or image format spec?
Now that we have runC as the core container runtime in Cloud Foundry, we intend to participate in the image specification work. If you look at the OCI Scope Table there are many emerging areas where new work may develop in all aspects of the container lifecycle and there is lots of room for contributors to get involved.

How will these specifications help your business?
Interoperability and portability is an immediate, obvious benefit for so many participants in the ecosystem. Developers and partners can have confidence that no matter what tools they use to produce standard images, they will have a very far reach for platforms where their software will run unchanged. This helps Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry customers and partners support more workloads on a common platform that works the same on-premises or in public clouds.

How do you anticipate OCI changing the container technology landscape?
I believe we are going to continue to see more interoperability and workload portability, which is going to grow the options for all participants. This is going to unlock so much more innovation and experimentation than could have happened otherwise. While distribution is currently out of scope for OCI v1.0, for example, I’ve seen multiple examples of experiments to improve image distribution using a torrent network. There are so many possibilities to innovate further.

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?
For all participants of the container ecosystem, the benefits are about being part of a large and growing ecosystem and community. The open governance ensures that anyone can participate and have transparency for the decisions, roadmap and ongoing work.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining OCI?
Check out the OCI Scope Table, decide what projects are most meaningful to your organization, and start participating.