Docker today announced details of Docker Hub Enterprise (DHE), a product that delivers workflow and docker management capabilities behind enterprise firewalls. As such, the Docker Hub Enterprise expands upon the capabilities of the existing Docker Hub platform by giving developers a method of sharing and collaborating on Docker applications behind their organization’s firewall. Docker users subsequently enjoy an enhanced degree of strategic control and security regarding the development and management of Docker applications. Docker CEO Ben Golub elaborated on the significance of Docker Hub Enterprise as follows:
Docker Hub Enterprise is Docker’s foundation for establishing relationships with our rapidly expanding enterprise customer base, who view the Docker open platform as the cornerstone of their distributed application strategy. These organizations want a behind-the-firewall solution that enables them to leverage both the broader ecosystem and the more dynamic development environment that Dockerization has enabled. Our vision for DHE is that it will evolve from the place to share and collaborate on distributed applications to a strategic control point for both developers and sysadmins to manage all aspects of the application development lifecycle – from build through production – on any infrastructure they choose.
Here, Golub elaborates on the way in which Docker Hub Enterprise promises to emerge as the “strategic control point” for the management of application development that leverages Docker containers. Prior to the launch of Docker Hub Enterprise, developers and system administrators needed to amalgamate open source tools to enable the sharing, distribution and collaboration of Docker applications behind an organization’s firewall. Now, DHE enables the creation of multi-container, distributed applications that accommodate the application lifecycle workflow requirements and protocols of Docker applications. Moreover, developers will continue to enjoy the ability to create distributed applications dispersed over multiple Docker containers by taking advantage of the functionality of Docker repositories and services hosted on the Docker hub.
Docker Hub Enterprise will be delivered through Docker Authorized Partners. At launch, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and IBM will render DHE available to their customers. Microsoft and Amazon Web Services will make DHE available through the Azure marketplace while Amazon Web Services will make Docker available through AWS Test Drives and AWS Quick Start Reference Deployments. The AWS Test Drives and AWS Quick Start Reference Deployments allow customers to explore software applications and architectures at no cost before incorporating them into their production-grade application deployments. Meanwhile, IBM will deliver DHE as a cloud-based and on-premise solution. The announcement of Docker Hub Enterprise comes in conjunction with news of the availability of a platform of orchestration services that facilitate the management of multi-container applications in recognition of the evolving need to manage and orchestrate large numbers of containers across multiple host environments and infrastructures. The combination of Docker Hub Enterprise with Docker’s newly announced orchestration services underscores the paradigm shift in application development away from the creation of persistent applications on servers or VMs toward distributed applications constituted by discrete components housed within interoperable containers. Docker’s orchestration platform is amongst the most comprehensive in the market today and responds to the cottage industry of products and services focused around container management. Docker Hub Enterprise will be available for early access in February 2015.
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.
Last Thursday, November 13, Amazon Web Services announced the availability of EC2 Container Service (ECS) to facilitate the management of Docker technology qua containers on the Amazon Web Services platform. The announcement represents another notable endorsement of Docker technology by a major cloud vendor that promises to continue catapulting Docker’s container technology to the forefront of the cloud computing revolution. Docker, recall, is a platform that enables developers to create and transport distributed applications. Docker streamlines software development by ensuring that applications housed within Docker containers remain unchanged when transported from one environment to another, thereby reducing the probability that applications which run smoothly in test environments fail in production. Docker’s container technology also introduces greater efficiencies with respect to the creation of applications by means of well defined parameters regarding application dependencies that enable developers to more effectively diagnose bugs and performance-related issues as they arise.
ECS enables Amazon customers to create clusters featuring thousands of containers across multiple Availability Zones. Moreover, ECS empowers customers to terminate and start containers in addition to providing scheduling functionality that optimizes the collective performance of containers within a cluster. ECS also allows users to transport containers from the AWS platform to on-premise infrastructures and vice versa while additionally providing deep AWS integration that allows customers to take advantage of AWS’s “Elastic IP addresses, resource tags, and Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)” that effectively transform Docker containers into another layer of the AWS platform on par with EC2 and S3, according to a blog post by Amazon’s Jeff Barr. Amazon’s announcement of its EC2 Container Service for container management means that it accompanies Microsoft and Google in offering support for Docker deployment, management and orchestration. Google’s Kubernetes project enables Docker container management on the Google Cloud Platform, while Microsoft Azure recently announced support for Kubernetes on the Azure platform.
The bottom line here is that Docker’s ability to enable the deployment of applications within containers as opposed to virtual machines has captured the minds of developers and enterprise customers to such a degree that the most significant IaaS players in the industry are differentially announcing indigenous or borrowed support for Docker technology. The key question now concerns the extent to which Docker usage proliferates to the point where it becomes the de facto standard for the deployment of applications and whether its technology can support the convergence of cloud computing and Big Data in the form of data-intensive applications designed to perform analytics on real-time, streaming data. Docker users will also be interested in container management frameworks that inter-operate across cloud frameworks such as Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services in contrast to management frameworks designed for one cloud infrastructure as opposed to another.
Microsoft recently announced support for Docker and Kubernetes technology on the Azure platform. Docker is an open source technology that enables developers to “build, ship, and run distributed applications” by means of container technology that facilitates application migration and deployment. Meanwhile, Kubernetes is an open source cluster management platform that can be used to deploy Docker containers. Azure customers can now use the Kubernetes platform to create and publish Docker containers to the Azure storage platform. In addition, Azure customers can deploy and configure Azure clusters using container images from Azure Storage or the Docker Hub. The Microsoft Azure team also built the Azure Kubernetes Visualizer which provides developers with a visual representation of the status of Kubernetes when managing Docker technology as illustrated below:
The Azure Kubernetes Visualizer is intended to “visually demonstrate some Docker and Kubernetes concepts such as containers, pods, labels, minions, and replication controllers.” Given that Kubernetes was open-sourced by Google in June, Microsoft’s decision to support Kubernetes and Docker represents a stunning example of the way in which container technology promises to drive product development as it relates to Infrastructure as a Service cloud computing. Amazon Web Services, for example, has yet to embrace Docker technology, and given its history of ignoring open source projects with the exception of Apache Hadoop, is likely to continue to withholding support for Docker. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s decision to support Kubernetes in conjunction with Google and its IaaS Google Compute Engine opens the door for the possibility of increased inter-operability between Azure and GCE, and subsequently promises to assert the criticality of Docker and Kubernetes to conversations about cloud computing inter-operability. The real winner from Azure’s support for Kubernetes and Docker, however, is Docker, whose container technology is likely to continue skyrocketing in adoption and affecting market dynamics not only within the IaaS space, but also the Platform as a Service (PaaS) landscape given its ability to reduce the gap between application development and operations by streamlining application migration across different cloud environments.
Docker recently finalized $15M in Series B funding in a round led by Greylock Partners with participation by Insight Venture Partners and existing investors Benchmark, Trinity Ventures and Yahoo Co-founder Jerry Yang. As a result of the investment, Jerry Chen of Greylock Partners, who was formerly VP of Cloud and Application Services at VMware, will be joining Docker’s board of directors. The recent capital raise brings the total funding raised by the company to $26M. The funding will be used to invest in the open source Docker project, build out a community platform and explore options for commercialization of Docker’s container technology.
Docker’s open source container technology provides a way for developers to streamline the migration of code from a development environment to a cloud-based platform. Docker containers allow developers to transport applications to private or public clouds while minimizing the configuration and additional preparation needed to deploy the application. Because virtualization operates at the level of the server, applications and their operating systems need to be migrated when moving from a dev to a cloud environment. The innovation of Docker’s technology is that only the application needs to be moved, thereby removing the necessity of migrating the OS and configuring it appropriately in the target cloud environment. Overall, Docker’s containers facilitate the portability of code and simplify application deployment.
Docker began as a Platform as a Service called dotCloud, before famously pivoting thanks to the vision of Solomon Hykes, Docker’s CEO at the time. Nine months since Docker was open sourced, the company now boasts over 400,000 product downloads and 300 contributors. Docker containers are used by the likes of eBay, Yandex and Baidu and its technology is supported by OpenStack, Rackspace, Google Compute Engine and Red Hat. Like Red Hat, Docker intends to wrap professional services and subscription-based management functionality around its core open source product. Given the product’s meteoric adoption in the space of 9 months, the industry should expect to see even greater usage of Docker technology over the course of 2014, particularly in light of the place of its technology in the emerging DevOps revolution and its attendant transformation of enterprise IT.
The OpenStack community recently celebrated the release of OpenStack Havana, the eighth release of its open source Infrastructure as a Service platform. Orchestration and Metering represent the key components of the Havana release. OpenStack Orchestration enables the automation of compute, storage and networking resources by leveraging pre-configured templates. Meanwhile, OpenStack Metering provides administrators with a unified picture of data usage across the entire OpenStack platform including activities like “enterprise chargebacks and feeding systems monitoring tools.” This release includes Firewall-as-a-Service as well as SSL support for all service APIs. Havana also features support for Docker containers as part of OpenStack Compute, which enables users to spin up containers rather than virtual machines and thereby benefit from improvements in efficiency and performance. In total, OpenStack Havana contains 400 new features from 910 contributors, which represents a 70% increase in contributors as compared to the previous release, Grizzly. Interested users can learn more about Havana and the next release, Icehouse, at the upcoming OpenStack summit in Hong Kong from November 5-8.
The following overview of OpenStack Havana is provided courtesy of the OpenStack Foundation: