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What's behind Linux's new Cloud Native Computing Foundation?

Brandon Butler | July 22, 2015
Google, IBM, Intel, Joyent Docker and others hop on board to create an infrastructure stack just for containers.

The CNCF is advancing the discussion to consider how containers should be managed, not just how they're created. That's a good thing for the industry, and for end users. Big enterprise buyers aren't going to really use containers until there are are mature platforms for managing them.

Who's in, who's out

To really drive home what the CNCF is trying to do, it's telling to examine which vendors are part of this collaborative effort and which are not. The OCI had 21 members. Today's CNCF has 22 members.

The OCI included members like Amazon Web Services, EMC and Microsoft. But those three vendors are NOT in the CNCF. Why? Because the CNCF is attempting to create a reference architecture for running applications and containers, and Google's Kubernetes will likely play a big role in that. AWS and Microsoft already have a reference architecture for running containers and they're not looking to support competitor Google's. Amazon CTO Werner Vogels came out this week with a detailed explanation of the Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), which is AWS's way of managing containers. Microsoft supports both Linux and Windows containers in its Azure cloud. But, AWS and Microsoft are on board with the OCI's effort to standardize what a container is.

Most CNCF members are not tied to a specific infrastructure stack. Companies like Box, Cycle Computing and Twitter, want to advance the cause of cloud-native applications, but they don't necessarily care where those applications run.

Meanwhile, there are a group of 10 vendors that are in both the OCI and CNCF. These include Cisco, Docker, Goldman Sachs, Intel, Red Hat and VMware. These companies are looking to support as many open source initiatives as possible, so they've hoped on the bandwagon of both of these projects.

 

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