The Open Container Project, a new container standards body under the auspices of the Linux Foundation, launched Monday morning with backing from Docker Inc., Google, Amazon Web Services, Red Hat, and others.
Docker Inc. is donating roughly 5 percent of its code base and draft specifications to the Linux Foundation to kick off the project. The new group aims to standardize image format and runtime for containers, the distributed application technology which is rapidly gaining traction as a lighter, faster alternative to virtual machines.
“There’s a de facto container standard, which is what Docker has become,” David Messina, Docker Inc. vice president of enterprise services, told SDxCentral in an interview. “But now we’re getting to the point where there’s a need to put that standard under open governance.”
Founding participants in the Open Container Project include Amazon Web Services, Apcera, Cisco, CoreOS, Docker Inc., EMC, Fujitsu Limited, Goldman Sachs, Google, HP, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Joyent, Linux Foundation, Mesosphere, Microsoft, Pivotal, Rancher Labs, Red Hat and VMware.
Core maintainers of the project will be employees of Docker Inc., Google, Red Hat, and CoreOS, a group that currently maintains the open source Docker libcontainer project. A timeline for release of the group’s bylaws and leadership selection has not yet been finalized.
With the donation of its code, Docker Inc. potentially stands to gain by systemizing its approach to containers as an industry standard. Messina argues that the move is far from self-serving though.
“We’re taking the technology and moving it out from under one company,” he says. “I would say it benefits everyone who’s part of the Open Container Project.”