Today we formally announced that Anchore had joined the Open Container Initiative (OCI).

12563465The OCI was established to develop standards for containers, initially focusing on the runtime format specification but later adding the container image format specification.

Container adoption is accelerating rapidly and the ecosystem is exploding with new vendors who are providing features such as orchestration, monitoring, deployment and reporting.

Standards are critical to the adoption of containers, ensuring that customers can choose their cloud provider, orchestration platform or monitoring tool without worrying about interoperability between these platforms and without being locked into one particular stack or vendor.

In the early days of the OCI concerns were raised about the overhead that is sometimes seen with standards bodies that can be bureaucratic and slow to come to an agreement. As such there was a real concern that the standardization process may stifle innovation in the container market which had seen rapid innovation and adoption. The incredible progress we have seen made by the OCI within its first 18 months seems to have put those concerns to rest and the OCI community is growing with nearly all of the leading players in the container market participating in this important work.

The image format specification is of particular interest to Anchore. This format covers the low-level details of container images including both the filesystem image and the associated metadata required to run the image. Today Anchore‘s Container Image scanning engine understands the low-level details of the Docker image format and is able to perform detailed analysis on these images. Over the coming months, Anchore will add support for the OCI image specification to allow customers to perform analysis, compliance and certification tests on OCI images in addition to Docker images.

We are looking forward to contributing to the specification, especially in the area of governance and compliance and by providing open source tools and services to allow OCI images to be analyzed and validated.