A combination of major Silicon Valley players and smaller tech firms have pledged their support to the Open Container Initiative, with the goal of furthering a new data center technology that uses containers to provide freedom from software and infrastructure requirements for developers.
These companies include AT&T, Oracle, Twitter and Verizon, among others, and they are joining a consortium of supporters that include other tech bigwigs such as Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat and VMWare. The 10 other companies that have signed on to the initiative include ClusterHQ, Datera, Kismatic, Kyup, Midokura, Nutanix, Polyverse, Resin.io, Sysdig and SUSE. All in all, the OCI has the support of 34 tech firms, which also include early supporters Apcera, Cisco, CoreOS, EMC, Fujitsu, Goldman Sachs, Joyent, Mesosphere, Pivotal and Rancher Labs.
The OCI, first unveiled as the Open Container Project at DockerCon with The Linux Foundation in June, is based on Docker's container format, which it donated to provide a foundation for the technology to automate the creation of apps in software containers. The goal of the technology is to promote portability, agility and interoperability across the wide range of tools and infrastructures in software and app development, thus increasing efficiency and productivity for developers while decreasing risks of market fragmentation and being locked in to one infrastructure.
"The overwhelming interest in the Open Container Initiative is representative of both the opportunity containers offer for application development and the challenges we face with fragmentation," Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation, says in a statement. "With such strong community support and collaboration, we're confident this effort will rise to the opportunity."
The Linux Foundation also announced that it has developed a light draft charter for the OCI, establishing a technical oversight committee to take over in case conflicts arise and a trademarks board to take charge of the initiative's upcoming certification program.
The OCI draft specifications have been made available to the public via GitHub, and individuals and other third parties can freely comment on specific pull requests starting Wednesday. The OCI says a formal draft will be published for comments later this month.
Meanwhile, The Linux Foundation also unveiled a second container-focused group, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, whose goal is to provide standardization for the technology. The second group, which relies on the strong support of Google, uses Google's Kubernetes core container management technology.
Docker, however, says it is currently not interested in standardizing containers as the technology is so new that it is not yet ready for standardization.
"[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."
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