OCI Member Spotlight – Intel

Friday, July 22, 2016 by Open Container Initiative

The OCI community is comprised of a diverse set of member companies that are committed to creating open industry standards around the container image format and runtime. This blog series highlights OCI members and their contributions to building a portable, vendor neutral, open industry specification.

Name: Anush Krishnamurthy
Title: Sr. Software Engineer & Manager
Company: Intel Corporation

Why did you join OCI?
With enterprise data centers seeking the agility and efficiency of containers for their cloud environments, the need for standards is critical. The Open Container Initiative (OCI) is a key part of our strategy to help accelerate easy-to-deploy cloud solutions into this market segment, and we look forward to working with other cloud leaders on delivery of standards that address container based environments. Through our participation, we hope to enable silicon technologies to enhance the container ecosystem.

How is your organization involved in OCI? Intel is a founding member of the OCI and supports the industry effort to create container standards. I am the technical face of Intel in the OCI, and I participate in discussions and also code in the community. I also represent Intel at the Technical Oversight Board (TOB) meetings for Runtime and Image Format and review changes submitted by the various contributors, including Intel.

Intel® Clear Containers 2.0, part of Intel’s Clear Linux Project for Intel® Architecture, now supports the draft OCI runtime specification. With Docker 1.11 supporting the runtime-specification project via runC, Intel® Clear Containers 2.0 can now be seamlessly integrated into a Docker installation, even cohabiting in parallel with the traditional Linux Containers runtime.

In the future, we look forward to enhancing the specification in order to enable the host to best fit containers to the underlying hardware infrastructure.

What are the aspects of the runtime spec and/or image format spec that you are looking forward to most for your company?
The greatest value of the OCI specs are to drive portability of containers across different environments. In the future, we look to advancing the OCI projects to provide improved security and to take better advantage of the underlying infrastructure.

How do you plan to use the runtime spec and/or image format spec?
Intel’s Clear Linux Project for Intel® Architecture and Clear Containers supports the draft OCI runtime specification. We plan to create cloud reference stacks to work with with the OCI specs to help drive broad industry adoption. Our networking and storage solutions will evolve to support OCI and help make container engines become platform aware to better support workload requirements.

How will these specifications help your business?
Container standards will help customers easily deploy and manage their workloads across clouds. As a supplier of silicon for cloud data center infrastructure, Intel is committed to helping grow the overall cloud market segment.

How do you anticipate OCI changing the container technology landscape? Container standards will help developers, DevOps professionals, IT and service providers to more easily deploy and manage workloads. This will create more choice for where workloads can be run.

OCI also has the potential to enable open source and commercial software stacks to be deployed efficiently across clouds (private, public, hybrid, etc.).

What do you believe the benefits of using a runtime and image spec based on the OCI standard are for hosting providers? For small ISVs, application developers? For end users? Standards will help drive broad adoption and deployment of containers by service providers and enterprises. This will provide ISVs, application developers and IT more choices to set up and run containerized applications in any cloud.

For application developers, OCI will help with packaging complex software and deployment across disparate clouds. ISVs can focus on more value add by having a clean and standardized foundation layer (need not worry about base layer) with containerized software based on the OCI specifications. Container standards will open up the market and allow cloud service providers to compete on value adds. OCI gives end users more choices as to where the workloads will run. End users can deploy anywhere and focus on other factors such as security, governance, cost, etc.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining OCI?
Join the community and get behind an industry effort to set open standards for container evolution. We need a diverse set of perspectives to make OCI as impactful as possible. Diverse roles and diverse personas bring valuable perspectives into the standard.