Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Tuesday, June 28, 2022

CoreOS Expands App Containers With Image Registry 

In its drive to deliver "Google infrastructure for everyone," application container specialist CoreOS is rolling out an image registry designed to accelerate container builds on its orchestration platform.

CoreOS said its Quay container registry adds another Kubernetes-based component to its Tectonic container orchestrator released in April. Container registries are used to secure and store private container images. Tectonic combines the existing CoreOs software stack with Kubernetes, Google's (NASDAQ: GOOGL) software container management system released to all by the search engine giant in mid-2014.

San Francisco-based CoreOS said Wednesday (Oct. 5) during the LinuxCon/ContainerCon event in Berlin that Quay leverages the automatic scaling capabilities of Kubernetes to accelerate container builds executed on a Tectonic cluster. It claims an 80 faster start time using the new container registry.

As application container infrastructure is rolled out for production workloads, container vendors are fleshing out the ecosystem with components that, in the case of CoreOS and Kubernetes, deliver web-scale infrastructure to more customers. With that in mind, CoreOS said all builds on its Quay image register are executed on its Tectonic cluster. Tectonic runs on infrastructure startup Packet's bare metal servers.

"As container based stacks become more commonplace and complex, services like Quay play an increasingly critical role in everything from developer velocity to production stability and security," Packet CEO Zachary Smith noted in a statement.

The new build system also is used to transform Dockerfiles, the instructions used to automatically build Docker images, along with source code into container images. CoreOS said users would see immediate improvements, including faster startup times for container builds of about 15 seconds compared to as much as three minutes for Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances to boot.

Previously, this scheduling was done via the Amazon EC2 API. With Kubernetes, CoreOs said the Quay build managers instead make use of the Kubernetes API to schedule a job for each build.

The approach also leverages Kubernetes to more efficiently use computing resources to allocate more resources to individual builds, CoreOS said.

Container builds typically begin on Quay via a webhook called from code repositories like GitHub. Webhook calls contain the commit to build, along with metadata such as the commit message and author, which are displayed in the Quay user interface. Once a build has been triggered, it is placed into a queue for processing.

CoreOS said support for enterprise Quay users is forthcoming, including the ability the scale build clusters automatically based on demand. That capability would eliminate the need for manual scaling, the hyperscale Linux operating system specialist noted.

In announcing its latest funding round in May, the hyperscale Linux specialist noted that it would used the funds to continue development of its Quay container registry along with ramping development of Tectonic as the enterprise distribution of Kubernetes for managing container clusters.


About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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