Container Wars at OpenStack Summit

Docker and OpenStack get along quite well

Docker and OpenStack get along quite well

Everybody is talking about Docker/Containers now, not only at OpenStack Summit. It seems to be a little bit like a few years ago when OpenStack was so „trendy“.
What some folks might not know is that the concept of a lightweight process – embedded in a specific application framework – is not new at all and has been around for many years. So why is there so much talk about Docker and Containers?

Containers have many advantages like portability across different underlying platforms. They need less space as there is no need to carry the whole operating system within each container. They have less overhead and faster launch times. Plus, containers can be distributed and scaled easily and usually enable a faster component assembly. There might be security concerns concerning transactions between containers. It´s only linux on linux and of course you do not get the whole functionality of the operating system as you are limited to your application library. Many enterprises like Ebay or Google run containers. By the way, Google has invented Kubernetes as an open large scale orchestration for Docker containers.

Containers played a big role at OpenStack Summit

Containers played a big role at OpenStack Summit

Containers: a different abstraction concept
Please don´t get confused: a container is not something like a light-weight virtual machine. It is a different concept of abstraction. If you need to scale ONE application to run it a few thousand times (or even in a much greater scale) it might make sense to think about containers. If your business is more like running ten thousands of different application then better go for a virtual machine approach.

OpenStack (Nova) basically provides virtual machines. But in real life when designing your datacenter you simply just do not want to take the decision if it is one way or the other. And the good news is: both go well together! You can run Docker on top of OpenStack. (funny enough: in one of the sessions someone mentioned that it can be done the other way round as well. This might be true from a pure technical viewpoint, but personally I really believe that most users will run it the first way). And, they both get along very well – that is the reason why there was an explicit focus on it with the Container Day.

Designer Summit at OpenStack Summit

Designer Summit at OpenStack Summit

Ironic: building OpenStack on bare metal clusters
Ironically, in the world of virtual machines there is a relatively new OpenStack project called Ironic. It focusses on how to build OpenStack directly on bare metal clusters. One of the talks showed how to run Docker on top of Ironic as well.

Confused? Then you should either attend the next OpenStack Summit 😉 or have a look at upcoming OpenStack events.

Best regards from Vancouver, I enjoyed some great and sunny days here but now it´s time to head back. My feedback from the summit: what I really, really like IT for: there are so many cool things going on!
Cheers, Michael.

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Michael Kienle - Geschäftsführer
„Open Source gehört in die Business-Welt und nicht in die Technologieecke“ – die Auffassung von Open Source als Business-Thema hat Michael Kienle maßgeblich mitentwickelt. Als ehemaliger Chief International Officer für die Open Source Business Foundation und Geschäftsführer eines SAP- und Open Source-Beratungsunternehmens gehört Michael zu den führenden Köpfen in der Open Source-Welt.
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