Application container technology, like Docker Engine, provides standards based packaging and runtime management of the underlying application components.
Containers are fast to deploy and make efficient use of system resources. Using containers, developers get application portability and programmable image management. The operations team get standard runtime units of deployment and management.
However, with all the known benefits of application containers there is a common misperception that containers are ephemeral and so are only good for stateless microservices-style applications. And that it’s not possible to containerize stateful applications. Let’s dive in and see if this holds up:
DockerCon sailed through Seattle recently, leaving behind in its wake a new swath of rapid adopters plus a trail of related company and product announcements. Docker itself produced perhaps the most exciting announcements of all with the launch of its DockerStore, a searchable marketplace for validated software and tools used in the Docker format, plus the launch of version 1.12 of its software, currently in public beta.
But the most important message delivered during the event came from Docker’s CEO, Ben Golub, who stated during his keynote address (video below) that upwards of 70 percent of enterprise companies have now implemented containerization.
Earlier this week, Google released version 1.3 of Kubernetes, the open source container orchestration software.
The release brings support for deploying services across “multiple clouds (including on-prem), support for multiple node types, integrated support for stateful services (such as key-value stores and databases), and greatly simplified cluster setup and deployment on your laptop. Now, developers at organizations of all sizes can build production scale apps more easily than ever before,” Aparna Sinha, a product manager at Google, wrote in a blog post announcing the release.
I’ve written about Bitnami many times in the past. It’s CEO, Erica Brescia, is one of a (sadly) small number of tech startup founders who happen to be women. And, while that makes a great headline or discussion point, it’s Bitnami’s success, outside of any gender-specific focus that really interests me.
Bitnami builds marketplaces that allow cloud vendors to offer the end-user application on top of their clouds. Bitnami is an application store for open source applications — for end users, what this means is that on the cloud platforms that Bitnami is integrated with, they can deploy the open source application or development environment they want quickly and easily — fully configured and ready to run.
Linux is steadily increasing its dominance on Microsoft Azure. During his keynote at DockerCon in Seattle this week, Mark Russinovich CTO of Microsoft Azure said that the share of Azure virtual machines running Linux has grown from 25 percent to 33 percent in the past year.
In a blog post discussing Microsoft’s container innovations, Russinovich cited a Forrester report, saying that “…over forty percent of CIOs view adoption of open source technologies as critical for them in the next year – primarily because of low cost, avoidance of vendor lock-in and agility. And that same North Bridge study saw use of OSS increased sixty-five percent over same companies surveyed from previous year.”
HP’s open source networking operating system, OpenSwitch, is now a Linux Foundation project.
Many industry players are joining the project, including Broadcom, Cavium, Extreme Networks, LinkedIn, Mellanox, Nephos Inc., P4.org, Quattro Networks, SnapRoute and, of course, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
OpenSwitch is full-featured, Linux-based modular and modern network operating system that provides support for traditional and cloud networking environments.
Commenting on the arrival of OpenSwicth Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation said, “OpenSwitch brings another important ingredient of the open networking stack to The Linux Foundation. We’re looking forward to working with this community to advance networking across the enterprise.”
One interesting aspect of commentating about a number of vendors in a particular space is that I get to sit in the middle of some competitive mud-slinging. Of course, no one really gets offended by vendor A trying to rain on vendor B’s parade — it’s all part and parcel of the thrust and parry of the industry.
I remember a year ago when ERP vendor NetSuite was holding its annual SuiteWorld event. FinancialForce, a competing ERP vendor, made a big show of choosing just that week to release a new marketing campaign — the “FrankenCloud” campaign was all designed to cast aspersions at the alleged complex and badly integrated solution set of its competitor.
Increasingly, organizations are recognizing—and taking advantage of—the benefits of cloud-based apps.
The compute, storage and I/O cloud infrastructure is dynamic, allowing for new virtual resources to be created and made available to the application at a moment’s notice. Also, each cloud application is componentized into a number of container functional units that can be added, deleted or changed as needed.
This latter point is the buzz of our industry—containerization.
Cloud ERP vendor Intacct last week announced that it has secured debt funding by way of a $ 40 million facility from Silicon Valley Bank. This comes at the same time as Intacct announced year-on-year new bookings increasing by some 34 percent.
Intacct has an interesting job in front of it — it is a mid-market vendor and therefore fills the space between tools designed for small and mid-sized businesses (QuickBooks and Xero, for example) and more enterprise-focused tools such as NetSuite, SAP, and Oracle. The mid-market space is a difficult one — customers have a plethora of different requirements and often the complexity, if not the budgets, are similar to those of larger enterprise organizations.
DigitalOcean is a confusing sort of a vendor. Every time the list of leading public cloud vendors comes out, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is #1, with Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Platform and IBMSoftLayer fighting for the bridesmaid slots. We never hear of DigitalOcean in those reviews. That is partly because some people argue about what constitutes cloud and whether DigitalOcean should really be there.
While these semantic arguments about “true” and “false” clouds go on, however, DigitalOcean has quietly (and not so quietly) been building scale. The company is growing rapidly, indeed, two years ago there had been around 1.5 million Droplets (its term for cloud servers) launched. Today, that figure has grown some 800 percent to 13 million. The company has around 700,000 all-time users and is adding 20,000 customers per month.