Virtualization Technology News and Information
Docker Releases Tool Enhancements That Extend Platform Capabilities Across the Entire Application Lifecycle

Docker, the open platform for distributed applications, today released new platform capabilities that enable organizations to more efficiently build, ship and run multi-container distributed applications across the entire application lifecycle. Using Docker’s platform, teams can collaborate on the development, testing and management of an application with an integrated effort that guarantees portability, improves productivity and accelerates deployment. These new capabilities for the first time - and moving forward - will be released simultaneously through coordinated updates of Docker Engine 1.6, Registry 2.0 and orchestration tools including Compose, Machine and Swarm. This unified release effort has been put in place to provide Docker users with incremental integrated platform capabilities every two months, providing continual improvement to all aspects of their application development lifecycles.

“Our community, which includes millions of developers and sysadmins, is depending on the Docker platform to support all stages of the application development lifecycle,” said Solomon Hykes, founder, chief architect and CTO of Docker. “These platform enhancements create new efficiencies and facilitate greater collaboration and a tighter integration between dev and ops. By synchronizing our releases, we are simplifying the evaluation and deployment process and enabling the community to immediately benefit from the integrated value that we’re building for them.”

Multi-container Distributed Applications

As part of this release, a new Docker image distribution framework has been implemented to address the scale and performance requirements for downloading (pulling) and uploading (pushing) container images both in a hosted public registry like Docker Hub as well as for dedicated private registries like Docker’s open source Registry and Docker Hub Enterprise.

Over the past 12 months, the distribution of Docker images has grown exponentially as developers and organizations have begun using and collaborating on Dockerized services to create dynamic, composable distributed applications. For example, Docker Hub has been at the center of over 300 million container downloads, which represents 150 times the aggregate container usage since April of 2014. What’s driving that activity is access to rich content, including Docker Hub Official Repos, which encompasses many cornerstone services for applications including Linux distributions, databases, applications servers and more. The overall volume of activity around building distributed applications within the collective Docker user community has driven the development of this new distribution framework, which includes the creation of a Docker Registry 2.0 and a new streamlined API between it and the Docker Engine. The combination of these two advancements gives the community a dramatically faster and more reliable experience in the distribution of Docker images. Docker Engine 1.6 takes advantage of the new API, but is also backward compatible with previous versions to ensure that organizations do not have to modify their existing infrastructure. The Registry 2.0 is available for download immediately and is also running in Docker Hub, a hosted service that stores and distributes Docker images to manage your distributed application workflows.

Incremental Enhancements Covering the Entire Application Lifecycle

As part of this coordinated release effort, Docker is making it easier for developers and sysadmins to collaborate to streamline application development and management. For example, Docker Compose, which provides the easiest way to define the components of a distributed application, has a new enhancement that makes it easy to share configurations and applications between different environments. This capability allows a Docker Compose file to be added to other Compose files. Different Compose files can be created for development, test and production environments or for downstream service teams. By including another app’s Compose file, teams can collaborate without having to understand the other’s application. For instance, a development team can define a distributed application with a Compose file, then the operations team can create a new Compose file that includes the app Compose file in addition to monitoring and security services specific to a production environment.

Additionally, new features address the needs of sysadmins to improve the handling and management of Dockerized applications. Images are now content addressable, so you can specify exactly what content you want to pull and update. This gives users the ability to perform changes accurately and more reliably. Also, container and image labels allow users to define policies, such as determining which hosts certain application containers should be placed.

This release also builds on Docker’s efforts to integrate with the tooling that operations teams already use to manage and support applications in production. Docker Engine 1.6 includes a driver for generating syslog information to be consumed by third-party monitoring and logging solutions. This includes key operational statistics on container performance and activity for organizations running Docker in production. This syslog information combined with the performance data generated by the Stats API released in Docker 1.5 can give organizations a comprehensive picture of the operating environment of their applications - whether they are in the enterprise data center or the cloud.

Provide Integrated Support for Enterprises

For the first time, Docker Engine 1.6 ships with its embedded client, providing native support for the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems. Through Microsoft’s collaboration with the Docker community, this capability is being shipped as a preview, making Docker easily accessible to application developers running Windows and Linux alike. Microsoft has developed functionality in Visual Studio to easily enable developers to build and publish .NET applications to Linux and Azure using the Docker client. These efforts will be leveraged more comprehensively in the future as the Docker Engine itself and the Docker container format become available on Windows Server.

Published Friday, April 17, 2015 6:42 AM by David Marshall
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