It’s hard to know whether to pronounce software infrastructure company Wind River as wind (as in eaten too many beans, that thing that makes sails billow out) or wind (as in snakey, twisty) river.
It looks like its wind as in breezy mistrals on this link, so let’s go with that.
Whether it be winding or breezy, the company has this month updated its Wind River Linux with a release focused on ease of adoption of containers in embedded systems.
How do you make containers adoption easier? We’re glad you asked.
It’s all about offering pre-built containers, tools and documentation as well as support for frameworks such as Docker and Kubernetes.
Appliances at the network edge
Wind River Linux is freely available for download and the technology is aligned to support software application development for cloud-native appliances that will exist at the network edge i.e. ones that will be in place, doing a job, for quite a while.
The company says that while containers can deliver powerful benefits such as greater scalability and flexibility, most current frameworks lack the right design or support for mission-critical industries that typically employ devices with extremely long lifecycles.
Embedded devices in the Operational Technology (OT) realm, such as those for industrial, medical equipment and automotive systems, also often require lightweight, reliable software with long lifecycles.
“Existing container technologies and platforms, like those in enterprise Linux, are often bloated or require updates too frequently to run effectively on these embedded systems. Wind River Linux includes container technology that supports the development and orchestration frameworks such as Docker and Kubernetes. It is Docker compatible under Open Container Initiative (OCI) specifications, but it is also lighter weight and has a smaller footprint than Docker, which is often a vital need for embedded systems,” said the company, in a press statement.
Insisting that his organisation is a ‘champion of open source’, Wind River VP of product Michel Genard has noted that although Linux containers have been widely deployed in datacentres and IT environments, without easy-to-use pre-integrated platforms or meaningful engagement across the ecosystem, container use has been scarce in small-footprint and long-lifecycle edge embedded systems.
The company rounds out by saying that by incorporating containers in Wind River Linux and combining this runtime with technologies such as the edge compute software product Wind River Helix Virtualization Platform, heterogeneous systems employing a mix of OSes (and requiring determinism and safety certification) can use the scalability of containers while meeting the often stringent requirements of embedded systems.