Containers have become a critical component of modern cloud, and Docker Inc. controls the heart of containers, the container runtime.
There has been a growing demand that this critical piece of technology should be under control of a neutral, third party so that the community can invest in it freely.
Last year in December, Docker open sourced docker runtime and released it as ‘containerd’ and started shopping for an independent party to oversee and manage the project. They have found a home, and as expected, it’s none other than the Linux Foundation.
It should not be a surprise to anyone. The last two LinuxCons looked more like Dockercon than a Linux event, because containers are everywhere. The Foundation also hosts the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Docker is donating containerd to CNCF.
“Today we took a major step forward towards delivering on our commitment to the community by following the Cloud Native Computing Foundation process and presenting a proposal to the CNCF Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) for containerd to become a CNCF project. Given the consensus we have been building with the community, we are hopeful to get a positive affirmation from the TOC before CloudNativeCon/KubeCon later this month,” wrote Docker founder Solomon Hykes in a blog post.
These moves ensure that the critical piece of the container world will remain independent, stable without any undue influence from any company.
But containerd is not the only container runtime. Core OS has been developing its own competing container runtime technology called ‘rkt’. Efforts by Core, have to a great degree, forced Docker to play nice with the community. It was the pressure from Core OS that lead to the creation of docker container image format and runtime. They also forced Docker to include many security features that were missing.
“Further, the rkt project has contributed indirectly to the creation of several important new APIs, specifications, and discussions in the container ecosystem. CNI, the container network plugin system used by Mesos, Kubernetes, rkt, and others, comes directly from the initial rkt plugin system and has become a multi-organization and industry-wide effort. The team working on rkt also created appc, the App Container Spec, which kicked off an industry discussion on container standards that has culminated in OCI, the Open Container Initiative,” wrote Brandon Phillips in a blog post.
Now Core OS wants CNFC to take control of rkt, alongside containerd, so that both technologies are being managed by the same body.
Once the proposal is accepted by CNCF and both containerd and rkt become part of the foundation, they hold the potential to be used in a much larger ecosystem.