Open Container Initiative gets a boost with 14 new members, releases draft charter

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The Open Container Initiative (OCI,) the peace project between CoreOS, Inc. and Docker, Inc. that put an end to the Container Wars back in June, received a boost Wednesday with news that 14 new companies had signed up.

Linux Foundation’s executive director Jim Zemlin is reported to have made the announcement at the OSCON conference, along with news that the Initiative had now finished a draft charter.

The list of new companies that have signed up to OCI are AT&T, ClusterHQ, Datera, Kismatic, Kyup, Midokura, Nutanix, Oracle, Polyverse, Resin.io, Sysdig, SUSE, Twitter and Verizon, who join founding members Apcera, Amazon.com (through Amazon Web Services,) Cisco Systems, EMC Corp., Fujitsu, Google, Goldman Sachs Group, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei Technologies, International Business Machines Corp.(IBM,) Intel, Joyent, Pivotal Software, the Linux Foundation, Mesosphere, Microsoft, Rancher, Red Hat, and VMWare.

Founded as a way to unify container standards due to the divergence between what Docker offers, and what Core OS subsequently moved away from, The Open Container Initiative’s mission is to work towards enabling users and companies to continue to innovate and develop container-based solutions, with confidence that their previous development efforts will be protected from industry fragmentation.

OCI saw Docker donating all the code for its software container format and its runtime, along with it related specifications, with the group behind rival container standard the Application Container spec (appc,) headed by CoreOS but supported by Google, VMware, Red Hat and Apcera, providing “technical leadership and support” to the project.

Charter

Part of the original announcement was to see the group have a charter the initiative will run under, and a draft has now been released for discussion.

“We’ve made a lot of progress in a month,” Docker’s Vice President of Marketing David Messina told the audience. “The end goal is to create a specification that enables Docker to easily run across multiple data center environments.”

“The overwhelming interest in the Open Container Initiative is representative of both the opportunity containers offer for application development and the challenges we face with fragmentation,” the Linux Foundation’s Jim Zemlin said separately in a statement. “With such strong community support and collaboration, we’re confident this effort will rise to the opportunity.”

Détente

The additional 14 companies getting on board the push for an open, universal container standard is definitely another positive step forward following the announcement of OCI.

While competition is usually great in just about every segment of the market, the split in container standards offered potentially logistical and economic problems going forward in terms not only of having to deal with more than one standard, but the cost of hiring people who were able to deal with both, or either all, and their compatibility in the enterprise.

A copy of the draft charter can be found here.

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