Built-In and Ready To Use: The Benefits of an Integrated System for Developing Containerized Software

Photo of Andy Doan

Posted on Jan 25, 2023 by Andy Doan

4 min read

Containers provide a widely used framework for the rapid development of embedded applications. A container is an enclosed environment for running a Linux® process, loosely isolated from the Linux kernel. This makes the implementation of new features and applications for a secure and connected embedded device quicker and easier. With containers, development teams avoid the need for tortuous negotiations with the operations team before deploying any new feature or application. This is thanks due to a new container being isolated from other processes on the system.

Containers are expected to become even more popular in the embedded world in the future. And this means that developers are paying more attention than ever to the container support provided by their chosen development solution.

This is a strong suit for FoundriesFactory®, because containers are not an add-on feature—they are tightly integrated into the whole DevSecOps workflow.

The Industry's Best Tooling

The implementation of a containerized approach to embedded software development calls for tooling. Docker has emerged as the embedded industry’s preferred tooling for building, deploying and testing containerized software applications. Docker, an open-source system, is fully integrated into FoundriesFactory. FoundriesFactory customers enjoy all the productivity and convenience advantages of having Docker available as part of their everyday development and operations workflow. If you do not yet work in the FoundriesFactory environment, you're probably having to use a plug-in to a separate toolchain or integrated development environment. This gives rise to all sorts of annoying and time-consuming configuration and authentication procedures. With FoundriesFactory, Docker tools are right at your fingertips.

Complementing the Docker tools in FoundriesFactory, is the Docker registry. This is a repository for all the container images you create. Images are pushed to a registry during CI builds.

It is possible to use Docker Hub—a public registry—but FoundriesFactory provides a better option: a full-featured registry that comes fully configured with each Factory.

This tight integration is convenient, and results in improved developer productivity. But that's not all: the FoundriesFactory container registry also offers the industry’s best security. Commercial registries offer no way to connect to a production device via its Hardware Security Module (HSM) and you are left with sensitive credentials living in plain-text files. With the FoundriesFactory, HSMs work out of the box. It means that OEMs can apply the highest level of hardware security, in order to control which devices are authorized to load container images. OEMs also limit the risk that containerized application software will be stolen or hacked.

Built-in Benefits

There is a wider story to the FoundriesFactory support for containers, and it can be summed up in one word: integration.

For FoundriesFactory customers, Docker tools are not an external component to be bolted on to a separate workflow: they are right there, built-in and ready to use. The documentation, traceability, and end-to-end security found in the rest of the FoundriesFactory environment apply equally to a project’s containers.

Today, manufacturers of secure, connected embedded devices implement the same capabilities provided by FoundriesFactory. Resources that enable them to develop, test, deploy, and maintain secure devices. The question is do they cobble these capabilities together themselves, struggling to smooth the flow of project outputs? Or do they procure all these capabilities in the form of a comprehensive, integrated, and maintained solution? This second option releases engineering resources and funds associated with building and maintaining a basic development infrastructure; it frees up hours of labor.

Focus on the valuable work, such as the development and deployment of new products and features. With FoundriesFactory, the benefits of integration extend to the development of containers.

OEMs that want the best in development productivity, device security, and lifetime maintenance, have all the reasons they need to start working with FoundriesFactory. Begin rolling out containers today with FoundriesFactory, free for 30 days.

Linux® is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the US and other countries.

Related posts