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Kata Containers, The Next Evolution of Clear Containers

BY Imad Sousou ON Dec 05, 2017

When Intel launched the Clear Containers project in 2015, our goal was to address security concerns within containers through Intel® Virtualization Technology (VT). Using Intel VT, we were able to launch containers as lightweight virtual machines (VMs), providing an alternative runtime interoperable with popular container environments such as Kubernetes* and Docker*.

Intel® Clear Containers demonstrated that security and performance didn’t have to be a tradeoff, combining the security of hardware isolation at speeds on par with containers. Since then, other companies have adopted similar approach to containers.

Today, the OpenStack Foundation announced Kata Containers.  This marks the next step in Clear Containers evolution: creating an open governance structure that merges the project with a similar effort championed by Hyper and their RunV technology.  I am proud of the role Intel® Clear Containers played in the founding of Kata Containers. Response from the Clear Containers community has been overwhelmingly positive, and I am personally excited about this direction.

Kata Containers is launching as an open source project under the OpenStack Foundation, as part of its recently expanded charter to host projects beyond core OpenStack. Opening the project is sure to spur standardization and innovation that will drive container technology forward faster. Already nearly 20 companies have agreed to work together on Kata Containers, and we expect many more to join in the future.

Kata Containers also will be integrated and compliant across multiple infrastructure and container orchestration and specification communities: Kubernetes, Docker, Open Container Initiative (OCI), Container Runtime Interface (CRI), Container Networking Interface (CNI), QEMU, KVM, HyperV, and OpenStack. 

Our contributions to Clear Containers and now Kata Containers reflect Intel’s strong commitment to the Kubernetes ecosystem. We want to help customers realize greater value from their data center investments by enabling developers and applications to more easily leverage underlying hardware features.

If you’re in Austin for KubeCon and interested in learning more about Kata Containers, stop by booth D3 and join us for an information session on Friday, December 8, at Native Bar and Kitchen. Additionally, you can check out the Intel Bare Metal Experience Kits on display in our booth and in a hands-on lab later this week. Intel will also be showing more examples of hardware optimizations, including Intel FPGAs and composable, disaggregated infrastructure, throughout the KubeCon conference.