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OCI Member Spotlight: Google

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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:  Sarah Novotny
Title:  Senior Program Manager, Kubernetes Community
Company: Google

Why did you join OCI?
Google joined the OCI to help accelerate the innovation and adoption of Cloud Native development patterns across the industry. One of the framing tenants of Cloud Native application development is to be container packaged. Open standards around “What is a container and how do I interact with it?” are crucial to building an ecosystem of projects and companies around Cloud Native development.

One of our contributions to this ecosystem is Kubernetes, an open source project which began at Google and moved to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) as the founding project. In helping create the CNCF, and supporting the work of the OCI, we are firmly siding with users. This enables diversification within the stack, bringing more innovation and stronger solutions.

How is your organization involved in OCI?
We participate technically with software engineer Jason Bouzane sitting on the Technical Oversight Board (TOB) and as an image specification maintainer, and senior software engineer Vishnu Kannan is active in the OCI’s technical development community. We also participate on the Trademark Board and in the Certification Working Group.

What are the aspects of the runtime spec and/or image format spec that you are looking forward to most for your company?
Clearly defined and open standards. Defining specifications allows for more projects and companies to experiment with container-adjacent technologies.

How do you plan to use the runtime spec and/or image format spec?
Kubernetes and the Google container services such as Google Container Registry and Google Container-VM Image will support the OCI standards to further the multi-vendor and multi-cloud strategy our customers are prioritizing.

How will these specifications help your business?
Open specifications will create the possibility of a richer choice of container runtime environments for our cloud customers. New container runtime environments that offer unique performance or security capabilities will make container orchestration technologies accessible to a broad array of workloads.

Additionally, specifications will help the software vendor community by providing stable targets for the packaging of their applications which will further increase the set of technologies that can run in cloud native computing environments.

How do you anticipate OCI changing the container technology landscape?
To allow deep innovation and choice for cloud consumers, we need clear edges on composable technologies defined by standards to foster experimentation. Different approaches to consumer challenges and needs can only flourish if there are common expectations. The OCI standards and certification work builds that contract between technology builders and technology consumers around standards, certification and a community to evolve both.

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?
There are many benefits from defined standards. For example, portable workloads limit vendor lock-in and give end-users freedom of choice. Additionally, standards will encourage a healthy ecosystem of compatible and composable tools addressing specialized or non-standard workloads.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining OCI?
Participate and have your voice heard. The OCI community needs your input to understand what benefits *you* will have from standardization and where *you* want to see innovation and the ecosystem develop.

developerWorks Webcast Recap: Open Container Initiative at 12 months

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Last month, the Open Container Initiative (OCI) was the featured topic of one of IBM’s developerWorks Open Tech Talks. Nearly 1,400 participants joined the live webcast to hear panelists from Docker, Red Hat, Microsoft, The Linux Foundation and IBM discuss the OCI’s activities, tools and goals after one year.

Technical leaders of OCI discussed topics including:

  • The progress the OCI has made over the last 12 months
  • The latest state of the runtime and image format specifications
  • Open source code that is available for reference implementation and tooling
  • The organizational structure of the OCI and opportunities to get involved with the community
  • An overview of the certification working group and the value in a certification program focused on the OCI runtime spec
  • The key factors for establishing a certification program for container technology

The webcast also included a brief demo of OCI tooling (including runc), followed by an open Q&A with attendees.

A video of the webcast along with the slides presented and a full transcript are available at https://developer.ibm.com/open/videos/open-container-initiative-at-12-months/ for those who were unable to make it!

OCI Member Spotlight: Intel

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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 a portable, vendor neutral, open industry specification. 

Name: Anush Krishnamurthy
Title: Sr. Software Engineer & Manager
Company: Intel Corporation

 

Why did you join OCI?
With enterprise data centers seeking the agility and efficiency of containers for their cloud environments, the need for standards is critical. The Open Container Initiative (OCI) is a key part of our strategy to help accelerate easy-to-deploy cloud solutions into this market segment, and we look forward to working with other cloud leaders on delivery of standards that address container based environments. Through our participation, we hope to enable silicon technologies to enhance the container ecosystem.

How is your organization involved in OCI?
Intel is a founding member of the OCI and supports the industry effort to create container standards. I am the technical face of Intel in the OCI, and I participate in discussions and also code in the community. I also represent Intel at the Technical Oversight Board (TOB) meetings for Runtime and Image Format and review changes submitted by the various contributors, including Intel.

Intel® Clear Containers 2.0, part of Intel’s Clear Linux Project for Intel® Architecture, now supports the draft OCI runtime specification. With Docker 1.11 supporting the runtime-specification project via runC, Intel® Clear Containers 2.0 can now be seamlessly integrated into a Docker installation, even cohabiting in parallel with the traditional Linux Containers runtime.

In the future, we look forward to enhancing the specification in order to enable the host to best fit containers to the underlying hardware infrastructure.

What are the aspects of the runtime spec and/or image format spec that you are looking forward to most for your company?
The greatest value of the OCI specs are to drive portability of containers across different environments. In the future, we look to advancing the OCI projects to provide improved security and to take better advantage of the underlying infrastructure.

 How do you plan to use the runtime spec and/or image format spec?
Intel’s Clear Linux Project for Intel® Architecture and Clear Containers supports the draft OCI runtime specification. We plan to create cloud reference stacks to work with with the OCI specs to help drive broad industry adoption. Our networking and storage solutions will evolve to support OCI and help make container engines become platform aware to better support workload requirements.

How will these specifications help your business?
Container standards will help customers easily deploy and manage their workloads across clouds. As a supplier of silicon for cloud data center infrastructure, Intel is committed to helping grow the overall cloud market segment.

How do you anticipate OCI changing the container technology landscape?
Container standards will help developers, DevOps professionals, IT and service providers to more easily deploy and manage workloads.  This will create more choice for where workloads can be run.

OCI also has the potential to enable open source and commercial software stacks to be deployed efficiently across clouds (private, public, hybrid, etc.).

 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?
Standards will help drive broad adoption and deployment of containers by service providers and enterprises. This will provide ISVs, application developers and IT more choices to set up and run containerized applications in any cloud.

For application developers, OCI will help with packaging complex software and deployment across disparate clouds. ISVs can focus on more value add by having a clean and standardized foundation layer (need not worry about base layer) with containerized software based on the OCI specifications. Container standards will open up the market and allow cloud service providers to compete on value adds. OCI gives end users more choices as to where the workloads will run. End users can deploy anywhere and focus on other factors such as security, governance, cost, etc.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining OCI?
Join the community and get behind an industry effort to set open standards for container evolution. We need a diverse set of perspectives to make OCI as impactful as possible. Diverse roles and diverse personas bring valuable perspectives into the standard.

OCI Member Spotlight: Microsoft

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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 container formats and runtime. This new blog series highlights OCI members and their contributions to building a portable, vendor neutral, open industry specification.  

Name: John Gossman
Title: Partner, Azure Engineering
Company: Microsoft

Why did you join OCI?
Microsoft listens to our users and cloud users want solutions that are open and widely backed and supported by a broad community of vendors and other users. We see OCI as providing the basis for adoption of stable container technologies that meet these user requirements.

How is your organization involved in OCI?
Microsoft is one of the founding members of the organization. We have representatives who are contributors and maintainers on the runtime and image spec and a seat on the Technical Oversight Board. Rob Dolin, senior program manager and technical diplomat at Microsoft Cross-Platform Interoperability team, is chair of the Trademark Board Certification Program Working Group.

What are the aspects of the runtime spec and/or image format spec that you are looking forward to most for your company?
The interoperability and compatibility promises of the specs will make building higher-level tools and services that work together easier.

How do you plan to use the runtime spec and/or image format spec?
We will support the specs as part of our cloud offerings on Linux, Windows and potentially other operating systems. We will also use our particular expertise to ensure Windows Server Containers and related tooling can use the same format specifications.

How will these specifications help your business?
We believe that open source and standard specs will accelerate container and cloud adoption. We also build container-based services and software that will benefit from the interoperability of the OCI specs.

How do you anticipate OCI changing the container technology landscape?
Stable technologies enable faster innovation higher up the technology stack. We believe OCI will enable a wide range of orchestration, monitoring, packaging, deployment and other tools and runtimes. OCI is only the beginning; it is almost impossible to imagine all of the new container-based technologies that will emerge in the next few years.

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 parties, OCI promises portability, compatibility and interoperability. Because of the broad support of the open source community, nobody needs fear vendor lock-in.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining OCI?
OCI can only succeed if it addresses the needs of all parties. So come on in, the water’s fine!

New Image Specification Project for Container Images

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The OCI recently formed the open container Image Format spec project. This project is tasked with creating a software shipping container image format spec with security and federated naming as key components.

This represents an expansion of the OCI’s first project, OCI Runtime Spec, that focuses on how to run containers. Industry leaders are collaborating to enable users to package and sign their application, then run it in any container runtime environment of their choice – such as Docker or rkt. With the development of the new OCI Image Specification for container images, both vendors and users can benefit from a common standard that is widely deployable across any supporting environment of the user’s choice.

“The OCI was formed in a vendor-neutral setting with industry leaders to come together on container standards,” said Chris Aniszczyk for the Open Container Initiative at The Linux Foundation. “With the formation of the OCI Image Format project we celebrate an important milestone that is fulfilling what the group intended – to develop a standard image format that vendors and users can all widely use and benefit from.”

The OCI Image Format Spec project celebrates project maintainers and the OCI Technical Oversight Board (TOB) members, representing individuals and industry leading companies. Project maintainers contributing to the Image Format Spec project include Vincent Batts, Red Hat (TOB member); Jonathan Boulle, CoreOS; Jason Bouzane, Google (TOB member); Brendan Burns, Google; Stephen Day, Docker; Brandon Philips, CoreOS; and John Starks, Microsoft. Additionally, TOB members include: Michael Crosby, Docker; Pavel Emelyanov, Virtuozzo; John Gossman, Microsoft; Greg Kroah-Hartman, The Linux Foundation; Dr. Diogo Monica, Docker; and Chris Wright, Red Hat.

“We are happy to work with a strong technical community of maintainers in the OCI Image Spec to standardize how container images are built,” said Brandon Philips, chair of the OCI Technical Oversight Board and CTO of CoreOS. “With this important step forward in the development of common standards, this is a win for users and will drive the continued adoption of containers in modern infrastructure.”

Member comments on the new project:

“Over the past few years, Docker and its partners have been working towards decoupling and securing the container image format,” said Dr. Diogo Monica, member of the OCI Technical Oversight Board and Security Lead at Docker. “We are excited to be working with the OCI technical community on delivering an image format that can be used in a wide variety of scenarios. We believe the current layered approach to the OCI specification strikes a good balance between base and optional layers, ensuring the OCI can be a platform for future innovation in container technology.”

“Developing a standard and open container format is vitally important to the future of enterprise IT,” said Florian Leibert, Co-founder and CEO, Mesosphere. “The work of the OCI will give organizations the peace of mind to focus on fundamental questions, such as how to operate their datacenters or how to architect modern applications, knowing their containers will be portable between whichever technologies they might choose.”

“Nutanix warmly endorses the OCI initiative as our customers across the world transition from complex IT systems to simple, no-lock in, enterprise cloud architectures. We believe natively enabling seamless application mobility across a variety of virtualization and container environments is foundational to the next generation of IT clouds.  The OCI will play a key role in harmonizing multiple efforts and accelerate adoption of the new cloud native architectures.” – Binny Gill, Chief Architect.

“We are excited that the OCI Image Format will enable workload portability not only across different clouds, but also across different container runtime environments,” said Darren Shepherd, Chief Architect of Rancher Labs. “We look forward to supporting the OCI Image Format standard in our Rancher container management platform.”

“Standards are incredibly important to our enterprise customers. They ensure interoperability and protect our customer’s technology investments,” said Rob Lalonde, VP Market Development – Navops, Univa. “We at Univa are excited about participating in the Open Container Initiative, the formation of the open container image format specification project and the strong team of project maintainers.”

“Having the OCI provide this container image specification is essential to enabling the portability, security and naming of containerized workloads for our mutual customers. It is great to see the collaboration across vendors to enable vendor neutrality and end user choice,” said Mark Peek, Vice President Principal Engineer of Cloud-Native Apps, VMware.

“Today’s announcement of the formation of the OCI Image Format project further delivers on the OCI’s goals of bringing a standardized container format to customers, ultimately helping to enable more nimble and responsive organizations,” said Barton George, Senior Technologist – Office of the CTO, Dell.  “Dell is proud to be a member of the Open Container Initiative and its work to bring this powerful technology to a broader range of customers.”

“Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, believes deeply in the potential for containers to transform application development and deployment. We welcome the addition of the new image format specification project to the Open Container Initiative, adding cryptographically secure image integrity and authenticity and a global federated namespace for images. Together these offer trust and scalability for container image creation, distribution, and execution,” said Chris Wright, Vice President and Chief Technologist at Red Hat.

The Open Container Initiative is an open governance structure for the express purpose of creating open industry standards around container formats and runtime. Projects associated to the Open Container Initiative can be found at https://github.com/opencontainers. Contact the project maintainers on IRC at #opencontainers. Contact the Linux Foundation about the OCI at info@opencontainers.org.