Google is one of several cloud firms teaming up to form a new industry body dedicated to driving the adoption of container technology and microservices.
The news was timed to coincide with the announcement that the Kubernetes project for container orchestration has reached the version 1.0 milestone.
The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) has been formed as a partnership between Google, the Linux Foundation and various other firms with an interest in promoting containers, notably Docker, CoreOS Docker, Red Hat, IBM, VMware and Intel.
Google said that the body will work with open source and partner communities to manage the future development of Kubernetes, the container orchestration platform that began with contributions from Google, VMware and Docker.
Containers have become a big focus for cloud services firms and other organisations looking to run applications at scale.
They enable an application and its dependencies to be packaged and operated using fewer resources than virtual machine instances, allowing for greater densities.
Kubernetes was developed to allow large applications to be split across multiple containers. This allows specific functions, like a web front end, to be scaled independently from the rest of the stack.
"Last February, Kubernetes contributors got together in San Francisco and agreed on the scope of 1.0 in terms of features, reliability and supportability," said Craig Mcluckie, Google product manager, writing on the Google Cloud Platform blog.
Meanwhile, Red Hat outlined the case for forming the CNCF, saying that it is vital for the ecosystem that an interoperable and vendor-independent standard is developed.
"Cloud native applications are effectively the same as ‘containerised applications' - applications and services that are container-packaged, dynamically scheduled and microservices-oriented," said Lars Herrmann, general manager for Red Hat's Integrated Solutions Business Unit and container strategy.
"Think of them as the next evolution of the enterprise application and the full realisation of what Linux containers offer to the application development world.
"But, as with all breakthroughs, codification and standardisation are necessary to actually help these innovations realise their full potential and deliver a future free of proprietary lock-in, competing core technologies and a return to a Unix-like landscape.
"This is where the CNCF comes in, backed by companies like Red Hat, Google, Intel, Cisco and many more."
The CNCF thus intends to define a common specification for building cloud applications, helping to enable portability, interoperability and transparent code across the emerging enterprise stack.
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