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What are Confidential Containers?

Confidential Containers (CoCo) is a new sandbox project of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) that enables cloud-native confidential computing by taking advantage of a variety of hardware platforms and technologies. The project brings together software and hardware companies including Alibaba-cloud, AMD, ARM, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Red Hat, Rivos and others.

The CoCo project builds on existing and emerging hardware security technologies such as Intel SGX, Intel TDX, AMD SEV and IBM Z Secure Execution, in combination with new software frameworks to help better secure user data in use. This will establish a new level of confidentiality, which does not rely on trust in the cloud providers and their employees, but on hardware-level cryptography. CoCo will support multiple environments including public clouds, on-premise and edge computing.

The goal of the CoCo project is to standardize confidential computing at the container level and simplify its consumption in Kubernetes. This is in order to enable Kubernetes users to deploy confidential container workloads using familiar workflows and tools without extensive knowledge of underlying confidential computing technologies.


Related blog series

A blog series on various forms of attestation for Confidential Computing use cases.

 

A blog series on Confidential Virtual Machines (CVMs) which are a set of hardware and software technologies providing additional measures for the confidentiality of the data processed within the VMs.


LIST OF BLOGS

What is the Confidential Containers project?

October 7, 2022 - Pradipta Banerjee, Christophe de Dinechin, Ariel Adam, Jochen Schroder, Martin Tessun

Confidential Containers (CoCo) is a new sandbox project of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) that enables cloud-native confidential computing by taking advantage of a variety of hardware platforms and technologies…Read full post

Understanding the Confidential Containers Attestation Flow

December 2, 2022 - Pradipta Banerjee, Samuel Ortiz

This article describes the hardware-based attestation flows and processes that the Confidential Containers project is built upon. With hardware-based attestation, a confidential computing processor generates cryptographic evidence for a workload-running environment. Provided that the workload owner trusts that piece of hardware, they can then remotely verify that evidence and decide if the workload’s execution environment is trustworthy or not…Read full post

How to use Confidential Containers without confidential hardware

March 6, 2023 - Wainer dos Santos Moschetta, Steve Horsman

The CoCo community recognizes that not every developer has access to TEE-capable machines and we don't want this to be a blocker for contributions. So version 0.1.0 and later come with a custom runtime that lets developers play with CoCo on either a simple virtual or bare-metal machine. In this tutorial you will learn: How to install CoCo and create a simple confidential pod on Kubernetes, and the main features that keep your pod confidential…Read full post

Deploying confidential containers on the public cloud

April 14, 2023 - Jens Freimann, Suraj Deshmukh, Amar Gowda, Ariel Adam, Pradipta Banerjee

In this article we will describe how Microsoft and Red Hat are collaborating in the open source community to show how Red Hat OpenShift can be deployed on Azure Confidential Computing for providing confidential container capabilities to its users...Read full post

Confidential Containers on Azure with OpenShift: A technical deep dive

May 22, 2023 - Magnus Kulke, Pradipta Banerjee, Suraj Deshmukh, Jens Freimann

In this blog, we're focusing on the specifics of the CoCo components. We'll break down the major elements, delve into the remote attestation process, secure key release for the application and highlight the role of Azure Confidential VM's (CVM) virtual Trusted Platform Module (vTPM) with AMD SEV-SNP protection...Read full post

Confidential containers on Azure with OpenShift: setup guide

June 8, 2023 - Pradipta Banerjee, Snir Sheriber, Suraj Deshmukh, Jens Freimann, Magnus Kulke

In this blog post, you will learn how to set up OpenShift sandboxed containers with confidential containers support on an OpenShift cluster hosted on Azure, using AMD SEV-SNP technology. You will also see how to create and run a confidential container that can process confidential data more securely and efficiently....Read full post

Confidential containers with AMD SEV

June 19, 2023 - Wainer dos Santos Moschetta, Ryan Savino

This blog demonstrates how to prepare an EPYC™ CPU-powered machine for SEV and CoCo, how to install CoCo using a Kubernetes operator, and how to create an encrypted image and start a container pod that uses CoCo SEV....Read full post

Protecting your intellectual property and AI models using Confidential Containers

October 26, 2023 - Ariel Adam, Tanay Baswa, Pradipta Banerjee, Suraj Deshmukh, Jens Freimann, Magnus Kulke, Prashanth Harshangi

Protecting intellectual property and proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) models has become increasingly important in today's business landscape. Unauthorized access can have disastrous consequences with respect to competitiveness, compliance and other vital factors, making it essential to implement leading security measures...Read full post

Confidential containers for enhancing AI workload security in the public cloud

November 3, 2023 - Ariel Adam, Malini Bhandaru, Pradipta Banerjee, Eric Adams, Fabiano Fidêncio, Suraj Deshmukh, Sean Pryor

Workloads that handle sensitive or regulated information such as medical, financial, location data or high value IP such as machine learning models require additional security. This includes memory encryption, integrity tracking, access control from privileged processes and more...Read full post

Confidential Containers for Financial Services on Public Cloud

March 8, 2024 - Axel Sass, Malini Bhandaru, Eric Adams, Jens Freimann, Emanuele Giuseppe Esposito, Ariel Adam, Benny Fuhry, Magnus Kulke, Suraj Deshmukh

Public clouds provide geo resilience in addition to being cost-effective when compared to on-premise deployments. Regulated industries such as the Financial Services Industry (FSI) traditionally have been unable to take advantage of public clouds since FSI is highly regulated from a security and resiliency standpoint...Read full post

Introducing Confidential Containers Trustee: Attestation Services Solution Overview and Use Cases 

April 4, 2024 - Ariel Adam, Pradipta Banerjee

We begin by introducing the RATS model and its components. After that, we discuss the Trustee project, its various components, and how they relate to the RATS model. Finally, we present a few use cases that demonstrate the usage of the CoCo Trustee and guest-components project....Read full post


VIDEOS

Confidential Containers with OpenShift on Azure

This demo shows a spark workload deployed as confidential containers using the OpenShift sandboxed containers peer-pods approach. The confidential containers are using Azure Confidential Virtual Machine (CVM)

Securing AI Models with Intel TDX-based Containers on Red Hat OpenShift for Azure

This video demonstrates decrypting a sample LLM and running the inference using OpenShift AI inside an Intel TDX Trusted Execution Environment with OpenShift confidential containers on Azure

Red Hat OpenShift confidential containers environment on Azure

Overview of components constituting a confidential containers solution on OpenShift

Red Hat OpenShift confidential containers key retrieval demo

Key retrieval by a "hello-world" application deployed as confidential containers on Openshift in Azure

Deploying a confidential container having an encrypted container image

Deploying a confidential container having encrypted container image on Openshift. Shows image decryption key retrieval from the Key Broker Service, after successful verification of the claims sent by the trusted execution environment.

Confidential Containers for financial services on public cloud

Demonstrates usage of Red Hat OpenShift confidential containers with Intel TDX to protect financial services workload in public cloud.

 


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