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Today, we’re pleased to announce our participation in two open source projects that aim to make it easier to find and store a variety of metadata, specifically metadata that service owners commonly use to describe the software that run their respective businesses. The first project, Grafeas, offers a vendor agnostic, open API for integrations into software build processes, resulting in provenance and auditing improvements. Building on this metadata store and open API, we are also collaborating with several other companies to determine an extensible policy execution process that can automate the enforcement of this metadata analysis on Kubernetes in a project known as Kritis.

Red Hat is a leading contributor to the Kubernetes eco-system and Open Container Initiative. Customers choose Red Hat as a technology partner for many reasons, including the ability to take advantage of both the long history we have in open hybrid architectures, but also for our agile software best practices with emerging technologies and next-generation cloud development methods. As a provider of operating system, trusted build process, hybrid cloud, application development and integration, management, storage, and DevOps solutions, Red Hat understands the importance of knowing what’s running inside a container.

What metadata is important to you? Is it:

  • Understanding the container signature?

  • Known CVEs?

  • Which base images were used?

  • RPM quality?

  • Who deployed what instance when?

  • Whose corporate identity is running the container?

  • A combination of all the above?

These are the questions Grafeas, an open source metadata project and API for accessing service component information, has the potential to resolve. With that deep understanding of what’s inside a container, we can automate policy activities based on that information. Kritis, the second open source project in this announcement, aims to offer platform owners a way to define actions they would like Kubernetes to take on their behalf. This policy execution engine will be designed to allow for a more efficient and widespread governance of software content.

Red Hat understands the complexities large customers face when integrating containers into their software development practices. Many customers have taken advantage of Red Hat OpenShift’s enhanced security capabilities and ability to perform complex chained container builds based on code commits or the creation of new base layer images. Red Hat has released early access to OpenShift.io, a hosted cloud native development platform that offers deep stack analysis of build artifacts. At the same time, Red Hat has significant global experience helping customers run mission critical workloads. Based on this experience, we have created new solutions such as the Container Health Index to offer customers a more comprehensive look at what went into building their containers.

Red Hat looks forward to enhancing these solutions further with the Grafeas open source project, as there are opportunities to better understand how trust and delegation are handled across the IT organization. With Grafeas, we can evolve our container signing into robust criteria suited for on-premise and public cloud deployments of API-centric microservices or modernized complex applications. Providing the building blocks for a more secure build pipeline is a Red Hat strength. With these projects, we can take that further and offer pluggable layers of verification and challenges, delegations to trusted scanning services, and a facility to help stop incidents before they happen, all while limiting interruptions to your business.


About the author

Chris Wright is senior vice president and chief technology officer (CTO) at Red Hat. Wright leads the Office of the CTO, which is responsible for incubating emerging technologies and developing forward-looking perspectives on innovations such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, distributed storage, software defined networking and network functions virtualization, containers, automation and continuous delivery, and distributed ledger.

During his more than 20 years as a software engineer, Wright has worked in the telecommunications industry on high availability and distributed systems, and in the Linux industry on security, virtualization, and networking. He has been a Linux developer for more than 15 years, most of that time spent working deep in the Linux kernel. He is passionate about open source software serving as the foundation for next generation IT systems.

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