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Docker Opens Up with Containerd Container Runtime Page 2

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted December 14, 2016


Following the Linux Model

With the new containerd approach, Hykes is aiming to have Docker follow a Linux model for how upstream development and downstream vendors work. With Linux, multiple groups of individuals, projects and vendors collaborate and contribute code to the upstream Linux kernel project. There are then many different downstream open-source projects and commercial vendors that make use of the Linux kernel as part of a Linux distribution.

"As new versions of containerd are released upstream, the Docker platform will adopt it," Hykes said. "We're absolutely looking to the example of the Linux kernel that provides a stable interface, that does not break the layers above it."

While containerd is set to become the core runtime, the full Docker platform does more than just run containers. Hykes explained that Docker assembles all the pieces of a distributed application platform. Components include container build, overlay networking and orchestration among other elements.

"Containerd will be one of dozens of elements that we integrate into the Docker platform," Hykes said. "What we're trying to emphasize is that our value is in picking the right components and integrating them in a way that developers love and solves enterprise problems."

Containerd is Looking for a Home

A goal of the containerd project will be to have an open governance and contribution model that is operated by a third party foundation of some sort, though at this point it's not clear which foundation that might be. What is clear is that unlike the initial runC effort, containerd is not likely to become part of the Linux Foundation's OCI project.

"Our intention is to donate container by the end of the first quarter of 2017," Hykes said. "What we're not doing is specifically choosing a home for containerd and that's simply because we don't want to rush the work of getting it right."

"What we do know is it will not be OCI," Hykes emphasized.

He noted that OCI in his view is a standards body and Docker is looking for a home for an open-source project. Potential options including joining an existing foundation or even creating a new foundation.

"The over-riding focus with containerd is to demonstrate to the container community that we're listening and we get it," Hykes said. "We want stable, reliable plumbing that we can build on top of to differentiate."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

Originally published on eWeek.
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