OCI Member Spotlight – Google

Wednesday, August 31, 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 an open, portable and vendor neutral specification.

Name: Sarah Novotny
Title: Senior Program Manager, Kubernetes Community
Company: Google

Why did you join OCI?
Google joined the OCI to help accelerate the innovation and adoption of Cloud Native development patterns across the industry. One of the framing tenants of Cloud Native application development is to be container packaged. Open standards around “What is a container and how do I interact with it?” are crucial to building an ecosystem of projects and companies around Cloud Native development.

One of our contributions to this ecosystem is Kubernetes, an open source project which began at Google and moved to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) as the founding project. In helping create the CNCF, and supporting the work of the OCI, we are firmly siding with users. This enables diversification within the stack, bringing more innovation and stronger solutions.

How is your organization involved in OCI?
We participate technically with software engineer Jason Bouzane sitting on the Technical Oversight Board (TOB) and as an image specification maintainer, and senior software engineer Vishnu Kannan is active in the OCI’s technical development community. We also participate on the Trademark Board and in the Certification Working Group.

What are the aspects of the runtime spec and/or image format spec that you are looking forward to most for your company?
Clearly defined and open standards. Defining specifications allows for more projects and companies to experiment with container-adjacent technologies.

How do you plan to use the runtime spec and/or image format spec?
Kubernetes and the Google container services such as Google Container Registry and Google Container-VM Image will support the OCI standards to further the multi-vendor and multi-cloud strategy our customers are prioritizing.

How will these specifications help your business?
Open specifications will create the possibility of a richer choice of container runtime environments for our cloud customers. New container runtime environments that offer unique performance or security capabilities will make container orchestration technologies accessible to a broad array of workloads.

Additionally, specifications will help the software vendor community by providing stable targets for the packaging of their applications which will further increase the set of technologies that can run in cloud native computing environments.

How do you anticipate OCI changing the container technology landscape?
To allow deep innovation and choice for cloud consumers, we need clear edges on composable technologies defined by standards to foster experimentation. Different approaches to consumer challenges and needs can only flourish if there are common expectations. The OCI standards and certification work builds that contract between technology builders and technology consumers around standards, certification and a community to evolve both.

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?
There are many benefits from defined standards. For example, portable workloads limit vendor lock-in and give end-users freedom of choice. Additionally, standards will encourage a healthy ecosystem of compatible and composable tools addressing specialized or non-standard workloads.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining OCI?
Participate and have your voice heard. The OCI community needs your input to understand what benefits you will have from standardization and where you want to see innovation and the ecosystem develop.