Open Container Project Signals End to Container Wars

The wrap up of DockerCon on Tuesday also marked the ushering in of a new era for the convention's namesake company and the containerization ecosystem in general. One visible, real-world sign of the shift came when Docker founder and CTO Solomon Hykes and CoreOS CEO Alex Polvi met on stage to shake hands and announce the launch of the Open Container Project.

Being led by the Linux Foundation, the Open Container Project includes a large number of other participants, including Amazon Web Services, Google, HP, IBM, Intel and Microsoft. The effort was established to ensure common, open and platform-portable standards for software containers.

Docker CEO Ben Golub called the effort "one of the more significant [announcements] in the history of containerization." Polvi, who has in the past criticized the direction Docker was taking, welcomed the project as a sign that Docker was "similarly committed to open standards."

Still 'Early Times' for Containers

A growing rift in the container market -- which offers a virtualized and distributed server environment for rapid application development and testing -- had emerged over the past year, with CoreOS's Polvi noting in a blog post in December that Docker "is not becoming the simple composable building block we had envisioned."

To ensure a container design that remained open, secure and composable, and one that allowed for simple discovery of container images, CoreOS launched Rocket as "an alternative to the Docker runtime," Polvi said. It also released its App Container specification that resembled "a variant of Amazon's AMI, but created for a container world."

During the announcement of the Open Container Project on Monday, Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin said the new effort will "prevent fragmentation and enable application portability among platforms." Hykes added the project would help "create a standard that will create stability while fostering...

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