InteliSpark client Exotanium, Inc. has been awarded a Phase I SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for their project, “X-Containers: Fast, Secure Containers for a Cloud-Native World”. Their project will focus on improving security of cloud computing while still maintaining performance and cost efficiency.
Cloud computing has proven to be a disruptive technology in the Information Technology (IT) sector. Furthermore, the application container market is a rapidly growing segment of this sector. Containers provide a simpler and more efficient apparatus to host applications in the cloud, however, they do pose problems such as weak security isolation, low kernel compatibility, and poor kernel customization. The issue of security is most prominent because one infected kernel can affect a multitude of containers. Currently, all organizations that have adopted container applications have been required to independently ensure their own security. One study found that a majority ran containers on top of virtual machines for security isolation, which then sacrifices performance and cost efficiency of the containers.
Exotanium proposes to provide a container architecture that supports greater security without sacrificing performance and cost efficiency. They plan to improve usability, security, and efficiency of a novel software application container architecture so that it can be easily deployed and evaluated by customers. The focus on the Phase I project will be to address limitations and challenges through five major objectives support Docker and Kubernetes ecosystem compatibility; improve automatic binary optimization coverage; re-design the platform to avoid open-source license violations; further improve security; develop an automatic installation tool and a product demonstration.