Docker Swarms With New Application Virtualization Technology

Docker expands beyond just the Docker container engine to include the Swarm clustering service and the Compose application assembly projects.


The open-source Docker project is growing today with the announcement of new efforts that expand the deployment and usability options of the popular container application virtualization technology. Docker Inc., the lead commercial vendor behind the open-source Docker project, is also announcing a commercial enterprise product and partnerships to help further accelerate adoption.

Since Docker got its start 18 months ago, the Docker Engine has been the core of the project, providing a container approach for application virtualization. The Docker Engine is now being joined by the Docker Machine for increased container deployment portability, Docker Swarm for clustering and Docker Compose for application assembly services.

"We're moving from a model where an organization runs a few Docker containers on a few hosts to running a large number of containers across many hosts," Docker CEO Ben Golub explained to eWEEK. "As we move to the model of multi-Docker container distributed applications, it's necessary to have a rich set of services on the open-source side around orchestration, and there need to be opportunities for Docker Inc. to sell commercial management software."

One of the new open-source efforts is the Docker Machine service, which, according to Golub, ensures that the host component of the Docker Engine can be easily deployed and run on any server.

"So if you wanted to set up a large number of servers to run Docker, in the past an administrator would have to set up each server to run Docker Engine and then any Docker container would run on that server," Golub said. "With Docker Machine, it's now easier to provision the Docker Engine onto a large numbers of hosts directly."

The second new open-source service is Docker Swarm, which provides container clustering capabilities. Swarm clustering enables an organization to run Docker across multiple hosts, but still be able to control Docker as if it were running on a single logical machine.

The third new open-source service is Docker Compose, which enables a developer to pull in multiple, discrete components that are running in their own separate containers and then be able to run a single logical application. Many modern applications are built using multiple components, so the ability to compose those components together into a logical application is critical.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

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