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CoreOS Rocket 1.0 Container Runtime Engine Comes Gunning For Docker

6 February 2016, 5:02 am EST By Horia Ungureanu Tech Times
CoreOS has announced that its security-minded container engine is live and ready for implementation. Enter rkt variant 1.0, which aims to be the main rival of Docker and an important part of the Open Container Initiative.  ( CoreOS )

Developers just saw rkt version 1.0 go live, and the company says that the container runtime engine is ready for production.

Alongside a number of new safety features, rkt version 1.0 comes packed with backward compatibility, meaning that command line interface changes that affect the on-disk format get support.

A big plus for rkt is that it features dual support. Rkt plays nice with app packages such as CoreOS App Container images or the Docker's image format, virtually enabling coders to design containers with Docker and use them with rkt.

The official page of CoreOS compares and contrasts rkt with its main rival, Docker.

Since its initial announcement in 2014, CoreOS said that the rkt project should provide a substitute for the Docker runtime.

"We thought Docker would become a simple unit," says Alex Polvi, CoreOS CEO.

Polvi adds that this desiderate not only did not happen, but Docker evolved into something much more complex.

"Docker now is building tools for launching cloud servers, systems for clustering, and a wide range of functions," the leader of CoreOS further notes.

Looking into Docker's capabilities, we find things such as building and running images, downloading and uploading and overlay networking. The fact that it is all mashed into one united binary that runs primarily as root on your server does not help with the simplification process.

CoreOS also rolled out the App Container (appc) project almost simultaneously with rkt. Appc acts as substitute for Docker's image format and container specs.

In 2015, Docker was a major contributor to the Open Container Initiative (OCI), a conglomerate of tech companies that pooled its resources in an open source purpose.

It could look like this move was detrimental to the company's projects, but Polvi argues otherwise.

"The primary focus of the OCI community is creating standards for the container runtime environment, rather than the container image," he says.

It may be assumed that the rivalry between the two highly visible products keep the container techies inspired to get better and more extensive. Seeing how standardization still has a long way to go, further positive developments in container technologies are to be expected.

Docker made it clear that it would be pointless to start standardizing containers when the technology is barely emergent.

"[There's] a lot of innovation in that area," David Messina, vice president of marketing at Docker, tells Fortune. "It isn't necessarily ready for a standard per se."

The OCI made its debut at the DockerCon with The Linux Foundation in June 2015.

It relies heavily on the Docker's container format, which aims to give a base technology company to automate the creation of apps in various software containers. Simply put, the technology aims to offer is increased portability, interoperability and agility for coders who want to cover different tools and infrastructures in software and app development.

A secondary gain is that this interoperability increases efficiency and productivity for coders, while at the same time it lowers market fragmentation hazards and avoids the ugly feeling of being confided into one infrastructure.

"The creation of the Open Container Project is one of the most important technology industry moves this decade," said Jim Zemlin, executive director Linux Foundation.

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