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Lessons from DockerCon 2016

by Michael Edwards, on Jul 5, 2016 10:34:29 AM

I recently spent two days in Seattle at DockerCon 2016. The event was not only for software developers, but also those from the worlds of DevOps, operations and system administration. For me, Docker is a new technology so my goal was really about learning and understanding what Docker is all about. (If you’re not familiar with Docker or the idea of software containers, I recommend this Network World article by GTRI’s CTO, Scott Hogg.)

At DockerCon, the first thing I learned is that the Docker team is very serious about creating tools that are easy for application developers to use.  This means Docker has taken well known technologies, such as Linux Containers, and created an easy to use and intuitive tool set.

Another item that was interesting is Docker’s use for legacy application support and portability. This allows customers to successfully upgrade hardware platforms without comprising application functionality.

I also learned is that Docker containers may seem like virtual machines but they are not the same. A Docker container does have isolated CPU, Memory, I/O and networking, but they share the kernel of the host operating system. This means Docker environments are much slimmer then virtualization environments because you do not have to duplicate the operating system for every Docker container. This in turn allows you to run more containers on a single host then you would be able to run virtual machines on the same host.

Finally, I was able to get a little stick time with Docker. Previously only available on Linux, Docker for Mac and Windows has been in closed beta since March. At DockerCon a full public beta was announced. Within two hours I was able to download and install Docker for Windows, and then download the Python image and get a Python-based Flask application running.  With the assistance of my co-worker, Cameron Pope, the creation of my first Docker application was rather painless.

GTRI customers are investigating Docker to reduce server footprint by eliminating hypervisor overhead and creating denser application environments. Other customers are focusing on DevOps practices and leveraging the ease of use within the Docker environment.

Have questions about how Docker can benefit your organization? Contact GTRI’s Professional Services team today.

Michael Edwards is a Principal Architect in Professional Services at GTRI.

Topics:DockerSoftware ContainerVirtualization

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