(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Cloud Giants Form Foundation to Drive Container Interoperability

The Linux Foundation in collaboration with 18 vendors and IT organizations announced today the formation of a Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which is committed to validating references architectures for integrating various technologies built on top of Docker containers.

Patrick Chanezon, member of Docker technical staff, said the core CNCF mission is to determine the state of interoperability between various technologies built on top of the Open Container Project specification unveiled last month. The Open Container Project is being renamed as Open Container Initiative to avoid confusion with other OCPs, such as the Open Compute Project or the Linux Foundation’s Open Compliance Program.

As part of the effort, Docker and Google are contributing core technologies to CNCF, which is defining cloud-native applications as being applications or services that are container-packaged, dynamically scheduled, and micro service-oriented. If it’s determined that additional work is needed to foster that interoperability then the CNCF will take the lead on the development of the required APIs, said Chanezon

Founding CNCF members include Box, Cisco, CoreOS, Cycle Computing, Docker, eBay, Goldman Sachs, Google, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Joyent, Mesosphere, Twitter, Switch Supernap, Univa, VMware, and Weaveworks. In addition, Chanezon noted, the CNCF is still open to recruiting additional organizations to participate in the project.

From the perspective of IT operations teams responsible for deploying these technologies CNCF represents an effort to not only promote interoperability, but also prevent IT organizations from getting locked into any one technology, Chanezon said.

“We’re focused on building bridges between various projects,” he said. “A lot of that work is going to be focused on the orchestration engines.”

Specifically, CNCF will become a mechanism for collaboration that focuses on the interoperability layer above the Docker orchestration engine.

As the number of Docker-related projects continues to multiply, IT operations teams should take comfort in the fact that over time CNCF will help simplify the deployment of various stacks of Docker container services that have been certified to work with one another, Chanezon explained.

Those reference architectures should reduce time, effort, and money associated with deploying Docker applications and services, many of which will eventually be made up of thousands of Docker containers strewn across multiple data center environments.

Chanezon said the Linux Foundation has been chosen to shepherd CNCF because of its extensive history of administrating similar projects and the fact that container technology itself came out of Linux. The Linux Foundation will mainly focus on administrative issues, leaving CNCF members to focus most of their time on technical issues, said Chanezon.

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About the Author

Michael Vizard has been covering enterprise IT issues for more than 25 years, during which time he has been the editorial director for Ziff-Davis enterprise as well as editor-in-chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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