Tuesday, November 30, 2021

New Linux Foundation Project Accelerates Collaboration on Container Systems Between Enterprise and High-Performance Computing Environments

Formerly Singularity, the newly named Apptainer project delivers a feature set that supports both application and microservice use cases

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced it will host the Apptainer project. Formerly the Singularity project, Apptainer is the most widely used container system for High-Performance (HPC) computing and is one of the container systems uniquely suited for both enterprise and HPC use cases. It is designed to execute applications at bare-metal performance while being secure, portable and completely reproducible.

“The Apptainer project has had massive growth and needs a neutral home with proven open source governance to support its next development and adoption phase,” said Gregory Kurtzer, CEO of CIQ and Founder and Project Lead of Singularity/Apptainer. “The Linux Foundation is the natural host for Apptainer, where it can also collaborate with the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Open Container Initiative, OpenHPC and other projects to expand its ecosystem.”

The HPC community for many years has been isolated from the enterprise and cloud sectors of the ecosystem, but those barriers are starting to come down. HPC consumers are looking to modernize and take advantage of enterprise tech and enterprises are looking to make use of decades of optimizations in performance and parallelization through use-cases like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and compute- and data-driven analytics.

“The Apptainer project is at a pivotal moment in its growth and evolution,” said Mike Dolan, senior vice president and general manager of projects at the Linux Foundation. “We look forward to supporting this community and enabling cross collaboration with even more open source developers and technologists to expand its ecosystem of contributors.”

Apptainer features include: public/private key signing of containers; Docker- and OCI-compatible; container encryption and integration with Vault and other management platforms; single-file SIF executable container format; runs “rootless” and prohibits privilege escalation within the container; and supports GPU, FPGA, high-speed networks and filesystems, among others.

For more information about Apptainer, please visit: http://www.apptainer.org

Supporting Comments

“For an open source project to be healthy, there needs to be a clear separation between the project and commercial support options. Both are critical, and I see this move as a step in the right direction to ensure commercial viability and a healthy community.” Brent Gorda, HPC veteran

“The Apptainer project has been an important step for containerization in high performance computing, driving an open-source platform that allows users to run complex applications on HPC clusters in a simple, portable, and reproducible way. We’re excited to see the Singularity project rebranded as the Apptainer project under The Linux Foundation and continue to provide the HPC community access to open-source container software that’s critical for HPC.” Brock Taylor, Global HPC Solutions Director, AMD

“As the founding organization, we are thrilled that Singularity has experienced such broad adoption in HPC, and we are really looking forward to seeing its maturing to the next level now,” said Gary Jung, Scientific Computing Group Lead at LBNL. “The time has never been better to move this technology to the Linux Foundation, where both the HPC and Enterprise communities can collaborate and build this container system for the future.” Gary Jung, Lawrence Berkely National Laboratory

“The health of Apptainer as an open source project is of vital importance to the High Energy Physics community and the OSG consortium which both use Apptainer in their High Throughput Computing and High Performance Computing every day to advance their science missions. The CIO of Fermilab and the OSG executive team endorse this move of the Apptainer open source project to Linux Foundation hosting and expect it to help ensure the long term health of the project.” Dave Dykstra, Fermilab

“For a global HPC consulting company like HPCNow!, moving Apptainer to a Linux Foundation project not only represents another massive step in maturity level but also ensures the future of this extraordinary technology. The evolution of Apptainer is extremely important for our clients, who widely adopted this strategic software to guarantee portability, long-term reproducibility, and performance.” Jordi Blasco, CTO at HPCNow

“Intel is a long supporter of the power of open source to unite and accelerate ecosystems. As a user of Apptainer, we strongly support the contribution of Apptainer to the Linux Foundation and look forward to seeing the communities’ engagement in driving this project forward.” Sanjiv Shah, Vice President - Software and Advanced Technology Group, General Manager of Developer Software Engineering, Intel

“Apptainer can support scalable containers on HPC and Cloud infrastructure, so its move to the Linux Foundation is both exciting and a natural evolution of this important technology,” said Andrew Younge from Sandia National Laboratories. “We’re looking forward to continuing to work with the project and participating in the growing community at the Linux Foundation.” Andrew Younge, Sandia National Laboratories

About the Linux Foundation

Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation and its projects are supported by more than 1,800 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. Linux Foundation’s projects are critical to the world’s infrastructure including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, Hyperledger, RISC-V, and more. The Linux Foundation’s methodology focuses on leveraging best practices and addressing the needs of contributors, users and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at linuxfoundation.org.

The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see its trademark usage page: www.linuxfoundation.org/trademark-usage. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

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