2015 was a remarkable year for Docker, the hugely popular container technology. Here at Flexiant, we have long argued for the long-term importance of containers. So much so that, as recently announced, we have launched the Kubernetes Orchestration as a Service feature within Flexiant Concerto, making it simple to orchestrate clusters of Docker containers, which is where we believe the industry is headed. Let’s take a look at what Docker has achieved over the past year.
We asked our in-house Flexiant cloud experts what they expect to see from cloud computing in 2016. Here are some of our thoughts.
1. Containers become mainstream
In 2016, enterprises will embrace containers and start shifting production workloads onto them. They’ll also start more projects to “containerize” their legacy apps with similar enthusiasm as when they visualized their legacy apps from bare metal.
Developers. Developers. Developers. I guarantee this was the most spoken word at DockerCon Europe, the hottest software conference that just took place in Amsterdam last week. I was so lucky to get a ticket (as it sold out in a couple of days!) and be part of this amazing event that, despite a few complaints heard regarding too much of a “marketing love fest”, offered a lot in understanding market directions, trends and opportunities for software vendors.
Here in Flexiant Central we are having a debate about how far the DevOps approach and culture is permeating the larger development houses and even the in-house development activities of major enterprises. This is important to Flexiant and our customers since many of our service providers are currently delivering cloud services to the DevOps community, are planning to, or frankly should be planning to! You may have opinions on this and I would be very grateful to hear them.
One really insightful first question that I like to ask is “Who understands what DevOps is?” Many believe that they do. However, what I have noticed is that these discussions become very technical very, very quickly with Chef, Puppet, Docker et al. appearing early in every conversation. I understand why since DevOps is seen as a technical discipline by many and therefore the domain of engineering. This is not the whole picture.
Attention on container technology is everywhere. It is not a new technology, but with the rise of Docker, an open platform for developers and sys admins to build, ship, and run distributed applications in “containers”, we are seeing a tremendous focus on it.
Containers offer a huge advantage to service providers because they are a way to encapsulate services that share the same physical/virtual host, but do it in isolation from one another. Containers also create an abstraction layer for disk, network and compute which removes all previous knowledge of where the container was hosted. Finally, depending on the technology underneath, containers offer a minimal overhead in performance and resource utilization.