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Containers or VMs? New project inherits speed from containers and security from VMs

Gabriela Motroc
Kata Containers

© Shutterstock / VTT Studio

If you’re looking for a project that builds lightweight VMs which feel and perform like containers but offer security advantages of VMs, you’re in luck. There’s a new open source project called Kata Containers that aims to build “extremely lightweight virtual machines that seamlessly plug into the containers ecosystem.”

Containers are all the rage right now but even though they can solve many of the problems we face with modern tech, the power of containers may prove too much for some. As Daniel Bryant, CTO at SpectoLabs and speaker at JAX DevOps 2018 told JAXenter earlier this year, “as containers offer great power, they also demand operational responsibility.”

Some people prefer containers, others VMs but just because you’re using one option doesn’t mean that the other is wrong. But what if you got the best of both worlds? This is now possible thanks to Kata Containers, “an open source project and community working to build a standard implementation of lightweight Virtual Machines (VMs) that feel and perform like containers, but provide the workload isolation and security advantages of VMs.”

SEE ALSO: Containers, microservices and the power of modern IT

Security of VMs + speed of containers = Kata Containers

According to the press release announcing the project, it is “designed to be hardware agnostic and compatible with the Open Container Initiative (OCI) specification, as well as the container runtime interface (CRI) for Kubernetes.”

Kata Containers offers the ability to run container management tools directly on bare metal without sacrificing workload isolation. When compared to running containers on virtualized infrastructure (which is the standard practice today), benefits include increased performance, faster boot time and cost efficiencies.

For starters, it will comprise six components, including the Agent, Runtime, Proxy, Shim, Kernel and packaging of QEMU 2.9. The project combines technology from Intel® Clear Containers and Hyper runV.

They are interested in building a global, diverse and collaborative community so if you’re interested in supporting the technology, you should know that they seek different expertise and skills, ranging from development, operations, documentation, marketing, community organization and product management. Find out more about how you can get involved here.

Kata Containers is managed by the OpenStack Foundation.



Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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