This article originally appeared at The WHIR
As a software for containerized applications, Docker is often compared to a shipping container allowing an application to be packaged and shipped. A new Kickstarter campaign is taking the analogy further by creating a physical, model-train-scale container containing a Docker server.
The DC2 Desktop Container Computer is the first product from Dick Hardt’s new company Hardtware. It provides a desktop container server preconfigured with Docker in a container that’s a thirtieth the size of a full-size, 20-foot shipping container. It’s 3 ¼ inches (83mm) wide, 3 ½ inches (87mm) high, and 8 inches (203mm) long, and weighs 2.55 lbs (1.16 kg). You can customize the DC2 by selecting a variety of common shipping container colors and logos or add your own logo.
The DC2 is fanless, and features a dual-core 1.33GHz MinnowBoard Max processor, a 60GB Solid-State Drive with 400MB/s transfer speed, and Gigabit Ethernet. With its open hardware design, there are various expansion boards that can be used to expand or repurpose the DC2.
Having an external Docker container, however, isn’t just a novelty. A separate Docker container computer means that Docker VMs don’t leech local resources, and it makes it easier to set up Docker, and keep track of configurations like port mapping.
DC2 can also act as a local testing environment. It runs Docker on a 64-bit Linux OS, meaning it’s compatible to later deploy Docker Containers on AWS, Azure, Digital Ocean, Google, Rackspace or any other 64-bit Linux Docker host.
Kickstarter participants can pledge $399 for the full DC2 and $1,595 for a set of 4 DC2s with a shared power supply and a 5 port Gigabit switch. Those with an existing MinnowBoard Max can get an empty DC2 container by pledging $99.
DC2 can also be considered a cheaper alternative to Amazon. For an upfront price of $399, DC2 is comparable to two m1.small from Amazon, which cost $412 per year.
The DC2 project is also seeking feedback, suggestions and pull requests via its GitHub community page.
If there is interest, Hardtware is also considering add-on LED displays that could show the disk activity with a blue LED and load on each core with green-yellow-red LEDs), and even a 96×64 OLED that could show more information.
DC2 launched its Kickstarter campaign Monday, and DC2 has already raised $17,258 of its $30,000 goal with 26 days to go.