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Harbor enters the fixed port of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation

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The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) has named Harbor, the registry for containers, a Graduate Project. VMware handed over the open source project for managing container images to the foundation two years ago. In addition, two related projects, SPIFFE and SPIRE, are moving from the sandbox to the CNCF incubator, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is becoming a Gold Member.

Harbor is a container registry implementation designed primarily for security and scalability. The software launched at VMware in 2014 has been in the sandbox of the CNCF since 2018. The foundation distinguishes three levels of maturity for projects: Sandbox, Incubating and Graduated. The latter is comparable to top-level projects at the Eclipse Foundation or the Apache Software Foundation.

Harbor secures artifacts using policies and role-based access control (RBAC). It checks images for possible vulnerabilities and signs them as trustworthy. Harbor 2.0 was released in mid-May, integrating the requirements of the Open Container Initiative (OCI) and introducing Aqua Trivy as a standard scanner.

The CNCF established transportation of Harbor with a mature range of functions, growing acceptance and use as well as sustainability. The project also relies on an open governance process and has a strong community that takes inclusion into account.

In addition to Harbor, there are ten other graduate projects at CNCF: Kubernetes, Prometheus, Envoy, CoreDNS, containerd, Fluentd, Jaeger, Vitess, TUF and Helm.

One day before the rise of Harbor, the CNCF added two projects to the incubator: SPIFFE (Secure Production Identity Framework for Everyone) is a specification that is intended to provide a standard for authenticating software services in cloud-native environments. SPIRE (SPIFFE Runtime Environment) is the associated runtime environment that SPIFFE implements for different platforms.

The projects are not new additions, but, like Harbor, have been in the sandbox of the CNCF since 2018. Since then, SPIRE has brought a number of enhancements that have been added to the Ascent to the incubator have contributed. Among other things, the software now works with AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Azure and bare metal systems. SPIRE can also be integrated with Kubernetes, Docker, Vault, MySQL and Envoy, among others.

Since all good things come in threes, the CNCF is reporting a further rise, albeit at the member level and not at the project level: Hewlett Packard Enterprise is expanding its commitment and changing from a Silver to a Gold Member. As Reason calls the announcement including the acquisition of the CNCF founding member Scytale by HPE.


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