ClusterHQ’s FlockerHub and Fli Deliver Data Management Tools For Containers

ClusterHQ today announced the forthcoming availability of two products designed to facilitate data management for containers, namely, FlockerHub and Fli. FlockerHub enables teams to store data volumes for Docker containers independently of the containers themselves, thereby allowing teams to decouple the code that runs within containers from the data that feeds container-based applications. FlockerHub’s decoupling of container data volumes from containers allows customers to enhance their operational agility with respect to the transfer of container-based workloads across a multitude of environments such as public clouds, private clouds and on-premise infrastructures. Meanwhile, Fli allows users to version control the data stored within their FlockerHub deployments and subsequently track changes to a data volume. For example, customers can use Fli to understand the evolution of changes to a database that, over time, is differentially used in both a production and development deployment. In addition to tracking incremental backups, Fli enables teams to track branches in the evolution of code in ways that enhance the troubleshooting of anomalous application behavior. More generally, Fli helps developers manage parallel development streams that commences with a common database foundation by giving teams greater insight into the history of data used within container-based applications.

FlockerHub, however, constitutes the most important innovation introduced by ClusterHQ in today’s announcement because of its ability to simplify data management within container deployments. FlockerHub fills a gaping hole in the container management space by giving developers the capability to manage data volumes for container-based applications. Importantly, FlockerHub simplifies processes such as data backup and replication, whether for redundancy-related use cases or a use case such as the migration of container-based data from one environment to another by giving teams the ability to effectively manage data used in containers. FlockerHub users can manage the distribution of data to containers and track its subsequent utilization in an application. Furthermore, FlockerHub delivers role-based access control governance functionality to ensure that the right users have the privileges to distribute and track the utilization of data volumes by containers. Given the heterogeneity of container management platforms on the market today, ClusterHQ’s FlockerHub and Fli promise to take up a place of critical importance within the container landscape by addressing head on the problem of data management for containers, which up until now has largely been thrust back onto customers themselves, resulting in high degrees of complexity regarding the problem of managing data for containers. FlockerHub and Fli will be available as of November 8.

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ClusterHQ’s Docker Container Management Technology Addresses Data Layer Of Docker Applications

ClusterHQ today announced the integration of its Flocker container management technology with Docker’s fig file format, thereby enabling customers to deploy and manage Docker containers on multiple servers, data centers and cloud providers. Importantly, ClusterHQ’s Flocker technology tackles a problem addressed by few Docker orchestration frameworks by enabling data layers installed within Docker containers to similarly migrate across host environments instead of remaining attached to the machine on which the Docker container in question is installed. Whereas existing container management technologies solve the problem of managing the migration and deployment of containers that house applications within multiple environments, Flocker’s solution uniquely addresses the challenge of managing databases, key value stores and data layers within container environments.

Michael Coté, Research Director, Infrastructure Software at The 451 Group, remarked on the significance of ClusterHQ’s innovation with respect to the data layer and Docker containers as follows:

We’re seeing activity around Docker grow incredibly quickly, with application developers only beginning to find the edges of what’s possible – including how to architect their applications appropriately for operations to deploy and manage. Management of the data layer has always been difficult with containers, yet is a critical need for production operations, since every application has to deal with state. It’s great to see ClusterHQ working on this layer of the Docker container stack.

Here, Coté comments on the challenges developers have encountered with respect to management of the data layer in relation to Docker technology. Coté elaborates on how data layer management is critical because applications need to register states, one component of which concerns the data repositories that represent one dimension of the application’s history. ClusterHQ’s announcement of the integration of its Flocker container management technology with Docker’s fig file format comes in the wake of last week’s announcement by Amazon Web Services of it support for Docker technology by means of a container management framework specific to AWS. Unlike AWS’s container management framework and Google’s Kubernetes, however, Flocker takes up a vendor agnostic position with respect to cloud infrastructures by integrating directly with Docker technology, thereby enabling it to interoperate on any cloud platform or environment featuring Docker containers. As a result, Flocker facilitates the management of Docker containers across multiple data centers and cloud vendors and thereby delivers a uniquely vendor-agnostic solution to Docker orchestration and container management in conjunction with its focus on the data layer of Docker applications.