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.
Docker Swarms With New Application Virtualization Technology
“You might have one container that includes a load balancer, one container with a Web application and another container that includes a database, and you want to treat them all as one logical application,” Golub explained. “Docker Compose is how you enable that and express the dependencies between the associated containers.”
Docker Hub Enterprise
In addition to the open-source efforts, Docker Inc. is now launching its Docker Hub Enterprise (DHE) commercial product, which provides an on-premises version of the online Docker Hub service. Docker Hub, which was launched alongside the Docker 1.0 release back in June, provides development life cycle services and private container repository capabilities. Golub had indicated to eWEEK back in September, when Docker raised $40 million in a Series C round of funding, that an enterprise Docker Hub product was in development.
DHE will benefit from Docker Inc. partners Amazon, IBM and Microsoft, which will be bringing the product to market as well. DHE will be available via the Microsoft Azure marketplace and on Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a CloudFormations template, according to Golub.
Golub said IBM will sell DHE for delivery on-premises, and there has been integration with IBM’s DevOps services including Bluemix. He added that IBM will also be reselling Docker support as part of the partnership.
The DHE product is set to be very closely aligned with the online Docker Hub version in terms of new release timing. The online Docker Hub also has a significant free component where users can access public repositories of container applications, he said. There are now more than 65,000 Dockerized apps available in the online Docker Hub.
A key theme that has emerged in recent months is that enterprises are now using Docker, according to Golub. This week, the Docker community is assembled at the DockerCon conference in Amsterdam to talk about all things Docker. Golub said that at the last DockerCon, it was Web companies that were talking about Docker.
“Now we’re starting to see banks and other more conservative enterprises starting to use Docker,” Golub said.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.