Docker, Tech Giants Team on Open Container Project

Containers have quickly become crucial tools for rapid-scale application development, and a new project aims to protect their usefulness by establishing common standards for software containers. Among the companies joining forces for the Open Container Project announced today are Docker, Amazon Web Services, Cisco, EMC, Google, Microsoft and VMware.

The Open Container Project will be run under the auspices of the Linux Foundation. Docker called the effort "one of the more significant [announcements] in the history of containerization."

Among the other organizations participating in the project are Apcera, Fujitsu, Goldman Sachs, HP, IBM and Red Hat. Docker will be donating both its base container format and runtime to the project to help form the cornerstone for the new technology, said Docker CEO Ben Golub.

Portability Among Platforms

"Containers are one of the most important innovations in software development," Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of the Linux Foundation, said Monday in a blog post. "This project will prevent fragmentation and enable application portability among platforms, which are the ingredients developers require in order to build and deploy everything from retail and banking applications to streaming media services."

Golub noted in a separate blog post on Docker's Web site that the scope of the project is "intentionally minimal" despite the large number of organizations participating in it. That's why it's being structured as a "lightweight project" under the Linux Foundation, rather than as a large and separate foundation, he added.

"After receiving feedback from the community, partners and customers, we believe the timing is right to create a common standard that would ensure compatibility and encourage innovation throughout the ecosystem," said Solomon Hykes, founder and creator of the Docker open source initiative. "This coalition is just another example of the community coming together to create a standard that will create stability while fostering greater productivity."

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