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It’s been a little over a month since we got back from DockerCon. We had an absolute blast. Got to see our friends, make new ones, and connect with the community. And since we have been back it has been busy. We were very excited to be there (my old post, I almost can’t contain myself…its time for DockerCon 2015), being the only Docker Authorized Consulting AND Training Partner at the conference. That unto itself was fantastic. But the three days held much more in store.
There were a number of announcements made by the good folks at Docker during the keynotes and presentations. Certainly more than we had time to write down, and the blog-o-sphere has commented and reviewed nearly every aspect of them. That said, I felt that there were a few things worth noting and commenting on.
This is a stroke of genius. By opening up Docker and making what was once libcontainer wholly part of the Open Container Initiative (https://www.opencontainers.org) for all intents and purposes killed any momentum of AppC. Sure, there will be contributions by the CoreOS team (and there are some really good ideas out there) but the one, single “standard” will now be runC. And it shows. Take a look a the graphs for the AppC spec over at GitHub. Not much going on there any longer. RunC is something that is going to change the way that container runtimes are going to be used in other projects. No need to reinvent the wheel, just use runC. I think it was felt at the conference too, when Ben G. announced the OCI and thanked Alex Polvi, shaking his hand from on the stage. Hopefully there is little bad blood. I think that CoreOS has moved on, and is now focusing on the bigger battle of Container Wars yet to be fought: Orchestration - and we’ll see if the Kubernetes project goes as far as using runC.
One of the major areas which we have worked tirelessly on in the process of moving customers from development use to production has been the use of “third party” tooling to address the requirements outside of the Docker runtime and image repository. Items like registration, networking, and service discovery to name a few, are a topic that requires massive attention for production deployments. The idea behind plugins (Extending Docker with Plugins) is to make the underlying plumbing of Docker open so vendors and users can work on developing tools which work together, extending the core Docker functionality in a modular way. This is fantastic. Today, the Docker experimental release supports a couple plugin extension points: Networking and Volumes. We are certainly keeping our eye on this, excited to see what this brings to the ecosystem.
Docker Experimental Release
This is another area that we are passionate about. We feel that the beauty of open source software is being able to use a set of tools in a creative way, solving challenges with tools which both yourself and others can contribute towards. One aspect of this use is being able to identify potential areas in which the tool(s) will change and adapt, BEFORE they are in a commercial downstream version. Yes, commercial software is necessary for many shops who do not have the expertise and talent to support pure open source tools. This is the goal of Docker Experimental (https://github.com/docker/docker/tree/master/experimental). Don’t look for long standing features, or a stable release here. This is THE cutting edge of development. And it gives you a taste of what is to come, and how you may use the tooling in the future.
Overall, it was a brilliant three days. We were able to speak with a ton of folks, gave away a bunch of Nebulaworks Deliver My Code stickers and t-shirts, and had a chance to really see what the community is all about. Over two thousand people registered, and I think we talked to almost all of them. And for a few lucky folks, we also were able to provide the first training on the new Administration and Operations course the day after DockerCon. Thanks to the folks who attended!
Over the next few months, you’ll see Nebulaworks join up with the other companies in the Open Container Initiative, providing our input from a system integration perspective (one we think is worthwhile), as well as some other Linux Foundation-backed initiatives. In the meantime, we’ll be out helping you with Docker enablement delivering your software better with DevOps.