Open-Source Docker Aims to Reinvent Virtualization With Containers

VIDEO: Ben Golub, CEO of Docker, explains what the open-source Docker container virtualization technology is about and how Docker is pushing it forward.

The modern world of virtualization has largely been dominated with virtual machine hypervisor technologies like VMware, KVM and Xen, but there are alternatives. Among them is the increasingly popular Docker open-source container technology.

Docker issued the 0.7 release of its namesake technology today, expanding the base of its support to all major Linux distributions. In a video interview with eWEEK, Docker Inc. CEO Ben Golub explains the company's promise and where it's headed.

Docker Inc., formerly known as dotCloud, recently rebranded to the Docker name. Golub joined the company in April, after a successful exit from Gluster Inc., which he sold to Red Hat for $136 million in 2011. The lessons that Golub learned from his experience at Gluster are informing his decision-making and the direction he is taking for Docker.

"What I learned from Gluster is, if you want to be open-source and you want to make a difference, you have to be radically different and present a significantly newer way of doing things," Golub said. "With Docker, what we're really doing is taking a model of building and deploying code that has been broken for a while and replacing it with a radically simple idea to containerize code and make it possible to really build once and ship anywhere."

The virtualization hypervisor model that is used by VMware, Xen and KVM involves the use of a virtual machine that includes an entire operating system. In contrast, with the Docker approach, the application is put into a virtual container, which then runs on top of a single operating system at the base layer.

"If the problem is, how do I take an application and deploy it across a large number of servers, there is no need to take an application that is measured in megabytes, combine it with an operating system that's in gigabytes and run that whole thing on top of a hypervisor that is running on top of another host operating system," Golub said.

Docker today is an open-source technology, and there isn't yet a commercial model around it. Golub said that his company is working on commercial services, including orchestration that it will be able to offer to paying customers at some point in the future.

Golub has a number of challenges that he is facing as he tries to ramp up and grow Docker.

"We're at version 0.7, and we want to get Docker to version 1.0, where it can be used in production," Golub said. "We really want to be able to fulfill our basic mission, which is you write once and you can run anywhere "

Watch the full interview with Ben Golub, CEO of Docker, below:

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.