Oracle opens ops-side container tools

Oracle is open sourcing some (arguably) tasty container tools for software application development professionals and the operations staff that work with them.

The database company has responded to what it says is the continuing popularity of containers by making the following tools open source: SmithCrashcart and Railcar.

All three software tools are focused on developer (and operations) tasks associated with building and operating containers.

Oracle architect for cloud development Vish Abrams explains the functionality here and says that Smith is a secure microcontainer builder focused on operations staff.

“Unfortunately, while the standard build process for containers is ideal for developers, the resulting container images make operators’ jobs more difficult,” says Abrams.

Containers are indeed widely popular, the technology  is essentially focused on creating independently deploy-able bits of code.

Smith is designed to deal with the problems containers encounter when it comes to:

  • Large images
  • Privilege escalation
  • Vulnerability management

Onto Crashcart & Railcar

When containers are minimised for production use, Abrams points to missing tools that make it more challenging for operators to diagnose and remedy any issues that arise.

“Most debugging can be done from the host, but sometimes you need access to the filesystem as the container sees it. Crashcart was built for this use case,” wrote Abrams, in an Oracle blog post.

Finally Railcar then — this is an alternative container runtime.

Oracle says that while Go is a great language, for small system utilities that need tight control over threads and make a high volume of syscalls, there are better options.

All tools are freely available on the GitHub pages linked at the top of this story.