Docker Announces Orchestration for Multi-Container Distributed Apps

New services accelerate development-to-deployment of applications atop any infrastructure, from on-premise virtualized data centers to public clouds

SAN FRANCISCO & AMSTERDAM — (BUSINESS WIRE) — December 4, 2014DockerCon EU – Docker, Inc., the company behind the open platform for distributed applications, today announced new, comprehensive platform services for orchestrating multi-container distributed applications. These comprehensive orchestration capabilities are designed to empower developers and sysadmins to create and manage a new generation of portable distributed applications that are rapidly composed of discrete interoperable Docker containers, have a dynamic lifecycle, and can scale to run in concert anywhere from the developer’s laptop to hundreds of hosts in the cloud.

“As we evolve from applications created from a small number of Docker containers on a handful of hosts to large, multi-Docker container applications spread across clusters and diverse infrastructures, it is important that users don’t lose the qualities that have made Docker so successful,” said Solomon Hykes, CTO and founder of Docker and the Chief Maintainer of the Docker open source project. “This includes native and open interfaces, the ability to be portable across all environments, and through a common UI the power to leverage a broad ecosystem of 18,000 tools and 60,000 Dockerized apps.”

Docker orchestration services are being previewed at DockerCon EU – the inaugural Docker user conference in Europe – and are backed by an unrivaled partner ecosystem which includes: Cisco, Digital Ocean, HP, IBM, Mesosphere, Microsoft and VMware.

Docker Platform Enhancements for Multi-Container Distributed Applications

Docker’s orchestration capabilities build on the foundations of the open platform which established Docker containers as the industry standard for building discrete application services into interoperable and iterative components that can run anywhere. Docker’s orchestration services are a reflection of the transformational shift that is occurring as organizations migrate from slow-evolving monolithic applications to Dockerized distributed applications. Orchestrating these distributed applications requires a native multi-container, multi-host approach with a common UI and tooling that works across infrastructures.

Comprehensive Orchestration Provides a Powerful New Approach to Application Development and Operations

Docker’s orchestration capabilities are delivered through three new platform services that are designed to cover all aspects of the dynamic lifecycle of distributed applications, where new code or a new Dockerized service that changes application functionality can be put into production in minutes instead of months. While Docker’s orchestration services are the most comprehensive on the market, their unique modular structure allows them to be accessible for both users – developers and sysadmins – and ecosystem partners. For example, there is an explicit service focused on developers to help facilitate their creation of a distributed application stack, while another service is focused on clustering that speaks to the concerns of the operations team.

The three new orchestration services are:

  • Docker Machine: This service further expands the portability capabilities of distributed applications by providing the user the flexibility to provision any host with the Docker Engine, whether a laptop, a data center VM, or a cloud node. This saves a developer a significant amount of time in manual setup and custom scripting, resulting in faster iterations and compressing the development-to-deployment cycle.
  • Docker Swarm: Docker Swarm is a Docker-native clustering service that works with the Docker Engines, provisioned by the new Docker Machine service, and creates a resource pool of the hosts on which the distributed applications run. By automatically scheduling container workloads and allocating resources, Docker Swarm provides users with high-performance and availability while eliminating inefficient and error-prone manual resource management. Docker Swarm is unique in the industry as it is expressly designed for a continuous lifecycle from development to operations. It is structured in a way that a developer can test his clustered application across a few on-premise machines, while an operations team can use the same tooling to scale that same application across hundreds of hosts across diverse infrastructure. The Docker Swarm API supports pluggable clustering implementations, giving customers the ability to choose highly-scalable solutions like Mesosphere to orchestrate containers across tens thousands of nodes.
  • Docker Compose: This service provides developers with the ability to assemble applications from discrete, interoperable Docker containers completely independent of any underlying infrastructure, enabling distributed application stacks to be deployed anywhere and moved at any time. Defining a distributed application stack and its dependencies through a simple YAML configuration file converts what was an incredibly complex process into a simple one that can be executed in just a few keystrokes. This powerful capability means that new distributed applications can be spun up in minutes in stark contrast to conventional approaches where an application’s time-to-market was measured in months if not years.

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