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Container Pioneer Integrates Orchestration in Docker Engine 1.12

By Paula Bernier
June 22, 2016

Docker has taken the networking world by storm, having played a starring role in the popularization of containers. But after having seen more than 450 companies join its ecosystem, and millions of developers use Docker technology to write apps faster, it’s time to take steps so these implementations can scale more efficiently across the entire enterprise. With that goal in mind, and no doubt in a move to grab a bigger piece of the valuable orchestration pie, Docker today is announcing the integration of its Swarm orchestration solution with Docker Engine.

This integration – available in Docker Engine 1.12 – will not only allow for ease of implementation, it will also make things easier from an operational standpoint for businesses implementing Docker, explained David Messina, the company’s senior vice president of marketing. Docker, which this week is holding its DockerCon event in Seattle, is referring to this move as allowing for the democratization of orchestration.

Container orchestration, he added, involves an automated set of capabilities that define distributed applications and manage them at operational scale, which is akin to a hypervisor in VMware parlance. So Docker is following the same trend line system administrators are used to – leveraging an integrated solution for more simplicity and uniformity so it’s easier to ensure apps are running as intended.

Going forward, Swarm will be available as an optional feature set of the Docker Engine, for which users can still elect to employ the orchestration solution of their choice.

“Swarm mode is something you have to turn on,” said Messina. “It’s a command.”

Docker is the poster child of the container movement. Docker’s core product is its container run time. Other entities with container solutions in this realm include LXC, which came out of the Linux Community and stands for Linux Containers, and CoreOS, with its rkt solution, which is also Linux-based.

But orchestration solutions, the software running on top of containers that manages all the containers that are out there, is really where the money is. Orchestration is the control layer. It handles the turning on and off of containers, assigning apps to containers, ensuring that when containers die new ones are spun up to keep apps running, and stuff like that.

Docker has been in the marketplace with its Swarm orchestration solution. Kubernetes, which was created by Google, is another container orchestration product. And Mesos is generally considered the third big player in this arena. But there are plenty of players in container orchestration.

The Container Market Adoption Survey 2016 from ClusterHQ and DevOps.com, which surveyed 310 respondents, indicates Kubernetes is the leading container orchestration tool among this group, followed by internally developed tools, Docker Swarm, Amazon ECS, Mesos, other tools, CoreOS Fleet, Open Stack Magnum, Hashicorp Nomad, and Cloud Foundry.

In addition to the integrated orchestration capabilities, Release 1.12 of Docker Engine will feature a service deployment API, a routing mesh for container-aware dynamic load balancing, and out of the box end-to-end encryption. Docker Engine 1.12 will be available in July.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Executive Editor, TMC

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