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Announcing Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment

Honglin Su
Sr. Director of Product Management

Oracle is pleased to announce Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment, a curated set of open source Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) projects that can be easily deployed, have been tested for interoperability, and for which enterprise-grade support is offered.

For several years now we have seen the decomposition of applications into microservices running on container infrastructure with developers and operations collaborating using DevOps methodologies.

Enterprises are looking for technologies that can help them reduce time to market and keep ahead of the competition. Cloud native microservices-based applications offer the agility and increased productivity needed. However, most IT operations are overwhelmed with the changing cloud native technology landscape.

One option is to build your own cloud native environment from open source software but that requires dealing with the complexity of picking the right software and getting it all to work together without any vendor support. The other approach is to use a stack or distribution from a software vendor. This option offers support but that could mean lock-in with that vendor, which may also not be up to date with the latest technologies.

Oracle offers a better alternative: one that can give you the best of both worlds by delivering software that supports the open standards, specifications, and APIs defined by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation or CNCF. The CNCF promulgates guidelines and defines certifications for cloud-native microservices software. Oracle is a platinum member of CNCF as well as a platinum member of the Linux Foundation.

Oracle closely tracks the CNCF standards and contributes to the CNCF community. Oracle has been investing in components of the CNCF framework for some time. For example, Open Container Initiative (OCI)-compliant container software and CNCF Certified Conformance orchestration software have been included with Oracle Linux for several years.

“We’re always thrilled to see members and long-standing open source contributors driving cloud native innovations that benefit both developers and enterprises," said Dee Kumar, vice president of marketing, Cloud Native Computing Foundation. "CNCF looks forward to seeing how Oracle continues its efforts to meet the quality, availability, and security needs of enterprises for cloud native DevOps.”

Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment

With the Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment, Oracle provides the features for customers to develop microservices-based applications that can be deployed in environments that support open standards and specifications.

Container Infrastructure

Containers are the fundamental infrastructure to deploy modern cloud applications. Oracle delivers the tools to create and provision OCI-compliant containers with the Oracle Container Runtime for Docker package available for Oracle Linux 7 on both the x86_64 and Arm architectures.

To provide additional security and isolation of workloads, Oracle has adopted Kata Containers, an OpenStack Foundation project. Oracle is using Kata Container software to deliver the framework for creating lightweight virtual machines that can easily plug into a container ecosystem. A combination of Intel’s Clear Container initiative and the Hyper runV project, Kata Containers offer additional levels of security while maintaining the development and deployment speed of traditional containers. Kata Containers are available as a developer preview with Oracle Linux.

Container Orchestration and Management

Oracle Container Services for use with Kubernetes is an extension to Oracle Linux, based on the upstream Kubernetes project and released under the CNCF Kubernetes Certified Conformance program. Oracle Container Services for use with Kubernetes simplifies the configuration and setup of Kubernetes with support for backup and recovery. This solution is developed for Oracle Linux and integrates with Oracle Container Runtime for Docker to provide a comprehensive container and orchestration environment for the delivery of microservices and next-generation application development.

CRI-O, an implementation of the Kubernetes CRI (Container Runtime Interface) to enable using Open Container Initiative compatible runtimes, is available in preview. CRI-O allows you to run containers directly from Kubernetes without any unnecessary code or tooling. As long as the container is Open Container Initiative (OCI)-compliant, CRI-O can run it, cutting out extraneous tooling and allowing containers to do what they do best: fuel your next-generation cloud native applications.

Cloud Native Networking

CNCF project Flannel provides the overlay network used in Oracle Container Services for use with Kubernetes today and simplifies container-to-container networking.

The Container Network Interface (CNI) project currently incubating under CNCF seeks to simplify networking for container workloads by defining a common network interface for containers. The CNI plugin is available as a developer preview.

Coming soon additional features like Calico will enable customers to define fine-grained connection policies to further improve container and virtual machine network security.

Cloud Native Storage

There are a number of storage projects associated with the CNCF foundation and several providers are included by default in Oracle Container Services for use with Kubernetes including a plugin for Gluster Storage for Oracle Linux Release 3.12.

The future of storage integration will be provided through the use of a new plugin referred to as the Container Storage Interface (CSI) which was released in alpha beginning with Kubernetes 1.9. This new plugin will adhere to a standard specification and allow storage vendors to manage their plugins against their own timelines versus alignment with upstream Kubernetes releases. The alpha CSI plugin is available as a developer preview.

Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery

The increased adoption of microservices and the development of cloud native applications requires continuous integration and delivery options to keep pace with growing release frequencies. Jenkins X, available in preview, is a CNCF project which rethinks how developers should interact with CI/CD in the cloud with a focus on making development teams more productive through automation, tooling and DevOps best practices.

Observability and Diagnostics

Prometheus is a powerful, flexible, instrumentation solution for monitoring container environments.  It provides time-series dimensional data, powerful query tools and alerting features to improve visibility across the environment.  In addition, integration with 3rd party “exporters” allow users to collect additional data and turn it into a metric in Prometheus.  One example of this would be with Fluentd which is a data collector that decouples data sources from backend systems by providing a unified logging layer in between. Fluentd provides an exporter for Prometheus, allowing for a more simple integration experience.  Both Prometheus and Fluentd are available as previews.

Oracle Linux for Development

Tried, tested, and tuned for enterprise workloads, Oracle Linux is used by developers worldwide. The Oracle Linux yum server provides easy access to Linux developer preview software, including the latest Cloud Native Environment software.

Thousands of EPEL packages also have been built and signed by Oracle for security and compliance. Software collections include recent versions of Python, PHP, Node.js, nginx, and more. In addition, Oracle Cloud developer tools such as Terraform, SDKs, and CLI are available for an improved experience. And finally, Oracle VM VirtualBox helps customers get started with Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment quickly.

Greater Value

Support for the Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment is included with an Oracle Linux Premier support subscription at no additional cost. Components available in preview are made available via Oracle Linux yum server or Oracle Container Registry.

Getting Started

Oracle Linux is freely available to everyone at Oracle Software Delivery Cloud. Updates can be obtained from Oracle Linux yum server

Oracle VM VirtualBox is the most popular cross-platform virtualization software for development environments. You can download a copy of VirtualBox to run Oracle Linux and the cloud-native software on your desktop and easily deploy to the cloud. 

Oracle is offering up to 3,500 free hours on Oracle Cloud to developers that would like to use our cloud for their development environment.

Oracle OpenWorld 2018

To learn more about Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment at Oracle OpenWorld 2018, attend the sessions and visit Oracle Infrastructure Technologies showcase, booth #120, located in Moscone South, on the right side, just past the Autonomous Database showcase.

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