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Join OCI for OSCON’s Open Container Day

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We’re pleased to be supporting the Open Source Convention (OSCON) Open Container Day this year, taking place Tuesday, May 9th at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX.

Open Container Day is a gathering of industry practitioners presenting their takes around forward-thinking, container-based solutions, infrastructure, orchestration, cloud-native computing, continuous delivery, DevOps, microservices, and where this industry segment is going in 2017 and beyond. The event will feature vendor-neutral, straightforward discussions.  Among other industry experts, OCI community members will be presenting during the event, including:

  • Phil Estes of IBM will speak on “Quantifying container runtime performance: A serverless platform case study.” Containers are already “fast” in one sense: compared to VMs, the start time of a container seems instantaneous. But certain use cases care about the milliseconds needed to perform container lifecycle operations. Phil Estes offers an overview of an open source container benchmarking project that arose out of using containers as the runtime vehicle for a serverless framework.
  • Where Have Containers Gotten Us?”, presented by Vincent Batts of Red Hat.  As a technology, containers are maturing at a rapid pace. Vincent Batts explores the state of the ecosystem and how it is standardizing and offers a glimpse at what’s in store for the future.
  • Service discovery in container orchestration”, presented by Arun Gupta from Amazon, will offer an overview of service discovery in different container orchestration frameworks, drawing on an example of a Java application talking to a database to demonstrate configurations in Docker, Kubernetes, DC/OS, and Amazon ECS—commonly used container orchestration platforms that all have built-in support for service discovery and scalability.

We’re looking forward to a great day of discussion, networking, and diverse perspectives on where the container space is headed, especially as we gear up to release v 1.0 of our image format and container runtime specifications.

More details on OSCON’s Open Container Day are available here. To claim your Free Expo Hall Plus pass that will grant you access to Open Container Day, use code OSCON17XPO and register here

We also encourage you to explore opportunities to get involved in OCI, either as an official member or as part of our open developer community.

The OCI Applauds containerd and rkt to CNCF

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By Chris Aniszczyk (@cra)

Our sister project at the Linux Foundation, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), recently announced that both Docker’s core container runtime, containerd, and CoreOS’s pod-native container engine, rkt, have been accepted by the CNCF Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) as incubating projects alongside other CNCF projects Kubernetes, gRPC and more. This is great news for the entire open container ecosystem, opening the doors to shared open governance and even greater collaboration.

The containerd project implements the draft OCI runtime and image format specifications, and is committed to implementing these specifications as they evolve. The rkt project implements the draft OCI image spec and is committed to implementing the runtime spec as it reaches 1.0. We are pleased to share a neutral home base within the broader Linux Foundation where collaboration and iteration can happen organically.

“Our decision to contribute containerd to the CNCF closely follows months of collaboration and input from thought leaders in the Docker community,” said Solomon Hykes, founder, CTO and Chief Product Officer at Docker, in the official press release. “By donating containerd to an open foundation, we can accelerate the rate of innovation through cross-project collaboration – making the end user the ultimate benefactor of our joint efforts.”

“The OCI project is hard at work on the standards side, and we expect we will be able to share code in working with those image and runtime specifications,” said Jonathan Boulle, rkt project co-founder, CNCF TOC representative, and head of containers and Berlin site lead at CoreOS, in a recent blog post. “rkt closely tracks OCI development and has developers involved as contributors and maintainers in the specification process. rkt features early implementation support for the formats with the intention of being fully compliant once the critical 1.0 milestone is reached.”

More background on containerd joining the CNCF is available via the Docker blog and joint CNCF/Docker press release. More background on rkt can be found on GitHub, and details on rkt joining the CNCF are available here.

Interested in participating in OCI? The OCI always welcomes contributions from across the industry. Please join the OCI developer community if you’d like to contribute to the projects, or, if you’re implementing products based on OCI specifications, we recommend joining as a member and participating in the upcoming certification program.

OCI Member Spotlight: Mesosphere

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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: Jie Yu
Title: Technical Lead
Company: Mesosphere

Why did you join OCI?
Mesosphere commits and contributes to many different open source projects, including Apache Mesos, Marathon, and DC/OS, because we believe in open source software. We want to give our users the option to use an open and portable container image standard that will give them more transparency and control, in addition to their existing solution.

How is your organization involved in OCI?
Mesosphere participates in the image spec project, and we started adding support for the OCI image spec in Mesos. You can follow that effort in the Mesos community here.

What are the aspects of the the OCI specs that you are looking forward to most for your company?
Transportation and discovery mechanisms are still missing from the OCI image spec, so we are inventing our own open source image discovery and transportation mechanism in the meantime. We are excited for image discovery and transportation to be standardized, so that we don’t have to invent our own way, which will give users a more consistent experience.

How do you plan to use the OCI specs?
The image format spec will be supported in Mesos and DC/OS soon. We don’t directly expose runtime spec configurations to our users; it is abstracted away from the Mesos and DC/OS APIs via an external containerizer. (Kubernetes does something similar with the Container Runtime Interface (CRI).

How will these specifications help your business?
Mesos, Marathon, and DC/OS help users build data-dependent apps on any infrastructure, and Mesosphere ultimately wants to give all its users more choices about how to build their applications. Letting users choose the type of containers they use is one big draw of the projects we contribute to (we already support Docker and Mesos containers), and we’re excited to be able to give our users a consistent experience, and more open source options.

How do you anticipate OCI changing the container technology landscape?
We predict that most vendors will adopt the OCI standard, and that developers will build OCI images using different compliant tools, pushing them to different registries. Container orchestrators will pull those images from a registry and run them. A lot of tooling will spring up around OCI to make this process smooth.

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?
We think that the benefit for everyone will be stability and portability. People who adopt OCI will be able to monitor and help shape the development of that standard, which helps ensure that any changes benefit the ecosystem at large. Since OCI is vendor-neutral, no matter what happens in the long run to individual companies, we believe it will persist.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining OCI?
Everyone involved in the project is very responsive. Join the community; don’t be shy!

OCI Member Spotlight: Univa

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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: 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.

OCI Member Spotlight: Wercker

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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: Micha Hernandez van Leuffen
Title:  CEO
Company: Wercker

Why did you join OCI?
We believe that the promise of containers (portability, interoperability, and agility) can only actually be achieved by the establishment of certain standards. We have joined the OCI community to help frame and promote a set of (in this case, specific) standards around the image format and container runtime.

How is your organization involved in OCI?
For us, it makes sense to support the OCI in whatever capacity we can to help in the mission of standardizing core container technology. As a CI/CD tool it is important to our platform to provide customers with a clear set of standards and guidance.

What are the aspects of the the runtime spec and/or image format spec that you are looking forward to most for your company?
With a container image specification that anyone is free to contribute to and implement, containers will start to run without modification in a variety of engines (Docker, EC2, Kubernetes). This greater flexibility will allow us (and our clients) to grow and change based on evolving market needs.

How do you plan to use the runtime spec and/or image format spec?
As an automation platform that helps developers build and deploy their applications to the different scheduler and orchestration frameworks out there (like Kubernetes or Mesos), we mostly benefit from Application Bundle Builders that would enable us to package up source code and configuration into an app bundle, ready for launch. Right now we’re using Docker as the container runtime and format (which is adopting OCI standards via containerd), but as mentioned above, more value can be built on top of an open standard, as it’s capable of being executed inside of any runtime environment.

How will these specifications help your business?
The continuing adoption of containers and the ability to run them across a variety of vendor implementations and platforms due to an open standard container specification will make it easier for businesses like ours to add value and innovation on top of existing infrastructure  without the massive overhead of multiple container implementations.

How do you anticipate OCI changing the container technology landscape?
A body whose primary goal is to help create and maintain a container specification that is independent of orchestration stack, portable across a wide variety of operating systems, and is not tightly associated with any particular commercial vendor will help mold the landscape to the benefit of all rather than few major stakeholders, in turn encouraging innovation. This can only be a good thing.

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 benefit because they no longer have to worry about supporting a variety of container specifications– and thus constant modification updates to a variety of runtimes–making them more flexible and more efficient. Small ISVs benefit because having one standard way to package applications makes for easy distribution. Application developers will have the advantage of ‘package once and run anywhere,’ and users can expect more innovation across automation platforms and build tools.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining OCI?
Get involved and participate to be heard. The initiative is built, and can only move forward with contributions, not just membership.

 

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!