The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) added the Container Networking Interface (CNI) program as a hosted project.
The CNI project was first proposed by CoreOS to define a common interface between network plugins and container execution. The platform is designed with a small footprint. It has limited responsibility over network connectivity of containers, and it removes allocated resources when the container is deleted.
A number of groups are credited with helping CoreOS create the interface, including Red Hat OpenShift, Apache Mesos, Cloud Foundry, Kubernetes, Kurma, and RKT. CNCF said CNI is used for Kubernetes network plugins by many of its members.
In becoming a hosted project, CNI gains help in defining an initial network interface specification guideline. The guideline focuses on connectivity and portability of cloud native application patterns. CNCF also said it will assist with CNI marketing and documentation efforts.
“Hopefully this fosters new ideas and new ways of integrating containers and other network technologies,” said Tim Hockin, principal software engineer at Google, connected with the announcement. “CNCF is a great place to nurture efforts like CNI, but CNI is still young, and it almost certainly needs fine-tuning to be as air-tight as it should be.”
The platform becomes the tenth hosted project under CNCF, joining Kubernetes, Prometheus, OpenTracing, Fluentd, Linkerd, gRPC, CoreDNS, Containerd, and RKT.
CNCF was formed in mid-2015, coming out of the gate with 22 members, including AT&T, Google, IBM, and Twitter. The organization, which is housed in the Linux Foundation, touts a focus on orchestration interoperability, using APIs to link disparate container services and applications.
Much of CNCF’s orchestration focus has been around Kubernetes, which was donated to the open source group by Google in 2015. The platform has since become a significant component for the orchestration and management of container models, having been backed by a number of high-profile companies like Canonical, Cisco, and Huawei.
CNCF earlier this month added four new members, including Tencent Cloud, Mashape, Vevo, and Zalando Technology.
Docker Support Remains Elusive
CNCF last month announced plans to support CNI as a common interface industry standard. The move came despite a lack of support from Docker Inc., which has its own Container Network Model (CNM) virtual network overlay.
Mark Church, a solutions architect for Docker Inc., at that time said there had been some discussion within Docker about adding support for CNI. But, that support was not expected in the near term.
“The short answer is not yet,” said Church.
Kubernetes early on moved to support CNI, citing design challenges with CNM. Gaining official backing from CNCF could be a critical win for the project moving forward.
“Since CNCF is backed by a large number of companies in this space, it’s very likely that CNI will become the de facto standard for container networking,” wrote Nuage Networks’ Harmeet Sahni in a recent blog post.