Late last year Docker announced it was releasing its core container runtime as a standalone open-source project with the intent to donate the project to a foundation. Today, the company is making good on that promise with the announcement that it has presented a proposal to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) Technical Oversight Committee for it to become a CNCF project.
The CNCF is an organization focused on advancing cloud native technology and services, and providing a common set of container technologies. According to Patrick Chanezon, member of Docker’s technical staff, the company chose the CNCF because its mission of container-based workloads is aligned with the goals of containerd. In addition, containerd already uses a lot of CNCF projects such as Kubernetes, Prometheus and gRPC. “There is a pretty strong alignment in terms of philosophy and in terms of projects. It just makes sense to donate containerd to the CNCF,” Chanezon said.
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This isn’t the first time Docker has donated some of its container components in order for the industry to build on it. In 2015, the company donated its libcontainer now known as runC to the Open Container Initiative (OCI). The Open Container Initiative is designed to develop industry standards for container formats and runtime. RunC was used to build the OCI’s runtime specification.
According to Chanezon, the reason Docker decided to donate containerd to CNCF instead of the OCI is because containerd is more of an implementation project rather than a standard. The CCI is more oriented towards specifications while the CNCF is more oriented towards open-source projects.
Containerd actually uses the runC, so it is OCI compliance. Both the OCI and CNCF are run under the Linux Foundation.
Docker hopes containerd will be accepted into the CNCF before the CloudNativeCon/KubeCon taking place at the end of the month. Once the containerd moves over to the CNCF project, Docker plans to continue to invest, advance and contribute to the development of the project. “Containerd is at the heart of Docker. We need the project, and we need it to be successful,” said Chanezon. “Giving it to the CNCF will just expand the community that can collaborate on it.”
Docker is currently working on implementing the containerd 1.0 roadmap, with a target date of June 2017. The team is working on phase 1 and phase 2 of the roadmap. Phase 1 focuses on defining the gRPC API, and phase 2 involves the design and development of containerd’s execution and storage layers. The full roadmap is available here.
Once the project is in the hands of the CNCF, Docker hoopes the community will continue to evolve and graduate the roadmap to 1.0. The next step is to then get containerd adopted by other projects such as Kubernetes.
“The future roadmap will be decided by the community,” said Chanezon.