KubeCon and CloudNativeCon are taking place this week (you probably noticed the ad below), but it was the OpenStack Foundation that kicked off the week with an interesting mvoe. On Tuesday, it announced a new project called Kata Containers
, the stated goal of which is “to unite the security advantages of virtual machines (VMs) with the speed and manageability of container technologies.” It does this by, essentially, giving each container its own lightweight VM in order to provide more resource and workload isolation.
There’s probably a long debate to be had about whether Kata
is necessary or the right approach to addressing container security, but I find its mere existence really interesting. Basically because after several years of OpenStack being beaten up publicly and never really fulfilling its promise as the open AWS, the OpenStack Foundation is hosting a separate project that really has nothing to do with OpenStack.
I don’t really have a lot to say about this, other than that (a) it is noteworthy because of OpenStack’s history and (b) I think it’s evidence, if only minimally, that the sands of open source are shifting. It seems like the most valuable types of foundations going forward might be those with specific worldviews and collections of projects that fit into them. The CNCF (with its dozen-plus projects anchored by Kubernetes) springs to mind here, but what if OpenStack keeps adding new pieces, or if Cloud Foundry starts expanding into more areas?
All of a sudden, you’re choosing not just between tools or platforms, but, to some degree, between entire ecosystems. This ramps up of risks and rewards for everyone involved: foundations that need money to fund themselves; vendors/communities that need to find the right home for their open source code; and end-users that need to make the right choice for their companies. It also provides some much-needed shared direction/connections in terms of roadmaps and integrations, and some much-needed marketing assistance for open source startups that really should be focusing on their products and business models.
As the quality and revenue expectations around open source continue to rise, strength in numbers could be a good thing.