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While much attention in recent months has been put on Linux containers (and for good reason), today, cloud native applications and services are taking the stage, with the Linux Foundation’s announcement of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Containers are strongly associated with this new paradigm of application development and delivery, and Red Hat is pleased to be a founding member of the Foundation, alongside the Linux Foundation and several other industry leaders, including Google, to help advance standards for emerging open source technologies. The foundation will seek to prevent the technology fragmentation that can impede customer adoption and stymie effective industry collaboration.
Cloud native applications are effectively the same as "containerized applications" - applications and services that are container-packaged, dynamically-scheduled and microservices-oriented. Think of them as the next evolution of the enterprise application and the full realization of what Linux containers offer to the application development world.
But, as with all breakthroughs, codification and standardization are necessary to actually help these innovations realize their full potential and deliver a future free of proprietary lock-in, competing core technologies and a return to a UNIX-like landscape. This is where the Cloud Native Computing Foundation comes in, backed by companies like Red Hat, Google, Docker, Mesosphere, Intel and many more.
The Foundation plans to drive integration of relevant technologies and innovation around the Kubernetes open source project, which Red Hat has backed since its inception last year. Kubernetes is a supported technology within our entire portfolio of open container-based infrastructure solutions, from Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host to OpenShift Enterprise 3, which was made generally available last month. The Foundation also plans to work with the recently announced Open Container Project (of which Red Hat is also a founding member) to encompass that organization’s common container image specification. But cloud native applications are more than just Linux containers and orchestration, and with this in mind the Foundation’s scope will also encompass other areas such as network services, APIs for defining a distributed systems architecture, and a model for composite applications.
Essentially, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation intends to lay out a common specification for building cloud native applications, helping to enable portability, interoperability and transparent code across the emerging enterprise stack, while facilitating rapid innovation and customer choice.
Red Hat sees this as critically important to the new wave of enterprise innovation, and we are very pleased to not only be a part of the organization pushing these concepts forward but to also have our pre-existing views on cloud native/containerized applications validated by a broader industry coalition. The future of the enterprise application does indeed come from the cloud and Linux containers, but more importantly, it lies in open code and common standards, something that Red Hat has already achieved within the Linux operating system world and will now strive to do so for next-generation applications.