OCI Member Spotlight – Portworx

Thursday, December 1, 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: Eric Han
Title: VP, Product Management
Company: Portworx

Why did you join OCI?
In order to innovate in a way that benefits users, the industry needs something similar to the Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), but for vendor-neutral containers. The OCI has created this community and is generating the momentum that we believe the industry requires.

Just as software is eating the world, containers will remake infrastructure. At Portworx, we are building storage infrastructure for containers, and our customers want innovation focused on what matters to them: more agility and the ability to rely on common experiences based on standardized container formats and runtimes. The OCI is critical for such user-focused innovation.

What are the aspects of the runtime spec and/or image format spec that you are looking forward to most for your company? How do you plan to use them?
The specifications and resulting implementations will be a core part of what we support for our Linux users today and our Windows users in the future.

We’re most looking forward to leveraging Content Integrity and Archival Formats, as they would enable protection before workloads start and optimizations when workloads are parked on-disk. We plan to submit a reference implementation to help integrate both Content Integrity and Archiving.

How will these specifications help your business?
Users want to be sure that innovative new technologies are based on their core and common experiences. Customers have often asked us about the next phase of container technologies and how it will evolve as an ecosystem; for us, the answer starts with standards and the work here at the OCI.

How do you anticipate the OCI changing the container technology landscape?
We’re hopeful the container landscape will evolve in a way that optimizes innovation across the board while also preserving portability and all the original benefits of containers. Ultimately, this means multiple, well-supported container experiences in production, which starts with the image format and runtime specs that the OCI is developing, followed by securing and optimizing infrastructure and application experiences, all using containers.

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?
As a company building storage for containers, our customers run on public clouds and across a variety of physical and virtual environments. So to make it more concrete, we see a world where ISVs package distributed, microservice-style applications on a runc or another OCI-defined environment. These applications get distributed onto common platforms in the cloud and on-premise that support the OCI spec, and customers are able choose without concern of portability or lock-in.

What advice would you give to someone considering joining OCI?
What are you waiting for? Pick an area to contribute to and jump in! The community appreciates your support.