The OpenStack Foundation today announced a new open source project — Kata Containers. Its goal is to unite the security advantages of virtual machines (VMs) with the speed and manageability of containers.
The project is designed to be hardware agnostic and compatible with the Open Container Initiative (OCI) specification for Docker containers as well as the container runtime interface (CRI) for Kubernetes.
In addition, the following companies are supporting the project at launch: 99cloud, AWcloud, Canonical, China Mobile, City Network, CoreOS, Dell/EMC, EasyStack, Fiberhome, Google, Huawei, JD.com, Mirantis, NetApp, Red Hat, SUSE, Tencent, Ucloud, UnitedStack, and ZTE.
“Hyper is proud to contribute runV, our virtualized container runtime technology, as the foundation of the new Kata Containers project,” said James Kulina, COO of Hyper, in a statement. “Hyper’s vision has always been to combine the best of virtualization and containerization in delivering the security of VMs with the speed of containers. We see Kata Containers as a potential basis for new on-demand container-native services spanning public/private cloud, serverless, and edge computing use cases.”
The Kata Containers project will initially comprise six components, including the Agent, Runtime, Proxy, Shim, Kernel, and packaging of QEMU 2.9. It is designed to be architecture agnostic and run on multiple hypervisors.
Kata Containers offers the ability to run container management tools directly on bare metal. The OpenStack Foundation says when compared to running containers on virtualized infrastructure — which is the standard practice today — benefits of running on bare metal include increased performance, faster boot time, and cost efficiencies.
Kata Containers at OpenStack
While the Kata Containers project will be managed by the OpenStack Foundation, it is an independent project with its own technical governance and contributor base. The open source Kata Containers community will focus on attracting contributors, supporting diverse hardware architectures, and driving technology adoption. Contributors can expect to work upstream across multiple infrastructure and container orchestration communities, including Kubernetes, Docker, OCI, CRI, CNI, QEMU, KVM, HyperV ,and OpenStack.
Kata Containers is hosted on Github under the Apache 2 license and managed by the OpenStack Foundation.