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OpenStack prioritises container security with Kata

Kata Containers allow container management tools to run on bare metal without isolating workloads

A stack of colourful containers being built up by a forklift truck

The OpenStack Foundation has announced a new project, Kata Containers, which is backed by 22 tech businesses including Intel, Hyper, Canonical, CoreOS, Dell/EMC, Google, Huawei, NetApp and Red Hat.

Kata Containers has been developed to bridge the gap between the security of VMs and containers, OpenStack said. It's hardware agnostic and compatible with the Open Container Initiative (OCI) specification, making it a felxible option for businesses looking for a simpler way to manage their containers.

The purpose is to allow businesses to run container management tools on bare metal without having to isolate workloads. Not only does this reduce the cost of running containers and increase the performance and speed up boot time, it's also a much simpler way of using containers that doesn't involve running them on virtualised infrastructure.

Intel will play an instrumental role in the development of Kata, contributing its Clear Containers technology, while Hyper will put forward its runV technology to help launch the project.

Kata Containers will comprise six parts: the Agent, Runtime, Proxy, Shim, Kernel and packaging of QEMU 2.9. However, it's been designed to work with any hardware, running on hypervisors and working with Kubernetes and Docker.

"It is great to see open source communities combine efforts and work together as with Kata Containers, and aligning with standards like OCI and key container projects like Kubernetes are important starting points for Kata," Chris Wright, vice president and CTO of Red Hat, said.

"Container technologies are having a significant impact on the industry and adding hardware isolation as an option when using containers has the potential to bring a new class of workloads to container platforms including Red Hat OpenShift, furthering that industry impact."

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