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The Cloud Native Computing Foundation is putting Linux containers at the core of its definition of 'cloud-native' apps

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation is putting Linux containers at the core of its definition of ‘cloud-native’ apps

The Linux Foundation along with a number of enterprises, cloud service providers , telcos and vendors have banded together to form the Cloud Native Computing Foundation in a bid to standardise and advance Linux containerisation for cloud.

The newly formed open source foundation, a Linux Foundation collaborative project, plans to create and drive adoption of common container technologies at the orchestration level, and integrate hosts and services by defining common APIs and standards.

The organisation also plans to assemble specifications to address a “comprehensive set of container application infrastructure needs.”

The members at launch include AT&T, Box, Cisco, Cloud Foundry Foundation, CoreOS, Cycle Computing, Docker, eBay, Goldman Sachs, Google, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Joyent, Kismatic, Mesosphere, Red Hat, Switch Supernap, Twitter, Univa, VMware and Weaveworks.

“The Cloud Native Computing Foundation will help facilitate collaboration among developers and operators on common technologies for deploying cloud native applications and services,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation.

“By bringing together the open source community’s very best talent and code in a neutral and collaborative forum, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation aims to advance the state-of-the-art of application development at Internet scale,” Zemlin said.

The central goal of the foundation will be to harmonise container standards and techniques. A big challenge with containers today is there are many, many ways to implement them, with a range of ‘open ecosystems’ and vendor-specific approaches, all creating one heterogeneous, messy pool of technologies that don’t always play well together.

That said, the foundation expects to build on other existing open source container initiatives including Docker’s recently announced Open Container Initiative (OCI), with which it will work on building its container image spec into the standards it develops. Google also announced that the foundation would henceforth govern development of Kubernetes, which reached v.1 this week, over to the foundation.

“Google is committed to advancing the state of computing, and to helping businesses everywhere benefit from the patterns that have proven so effective to us in operating at Internet scale,” said Craig McLuckie, product manager at Google. “We believe that this foundation will help harmonize the broader ecosystem, and are pleased to contribute Kubernetes, the open source cluster scheduler, to the foundation as a seed technology.”

Ben Golub, chief executive of Docker said while the OCI offers a solid foundation for container-based computing many standards and fine details have yet to be agreed.

“At the orchestration layer of the stack, there are many competing solutions and the standard has yet to be defined. Through our participation in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, we are pleased to be part of a collaborative effort that will establish interoperable reference stacks for container orchestration, enabling greater innovation and flexibility among developers. This is in line with the Docker Swarm integration with Mesos,” Golub said.

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