Docker Makes Container Management Easier for IT Ops Staff

Changes release cycle to synchronous updates every two months, releases Windows support

Michael Vizard

April 17, 2015

2 Min Read
Solomon Hykes Docker
Docker founder Solomon Hykes appears on stage at the 2014 TechCrunch Disrupt Europe/London 2014. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

Docker this week promised to make the lives of IT operations teams trying to cope with the rise of Docker containers a little easier. With the release of updates to the management tools it provides for Docker containers the company is now promising that updates to its platform will be synchronously delivered every two months. The announcement comes the same week the company closed a $95 million funding round.

“For the first time we’re unifying the cadences of our releases,” says Betty Junod, director of product marketing for Docker. “We’ll now be releasing updates every other month.”

With the release of Docker Engine 1.6 an embedded client that supports the Microsoft Windows operating system is available for the first time. Promised last year, the embedded client sets the stage for using Docker containers to easily port applications between Windows and Linux platforms.

Docker Engine 1.6 also adds a new driver for generating log files that can be consumed by IT monitoring and management tools to give IT operations additional insight into how Docker containers are impacting the data center environment.

Docker has also updated Docker Compose, which is used to define Docker components. The latest version makes it possible to share configurations and applications between different environments, thereby making it easier for IT operations teams to collaborate on deploying Docker containers.

In addition, Docker images are now content addressable, which means that system administrators can not only specify what content they want to update within a specific container, they can also apply policies to how those Docker containers actually get deployed.

Finally, the company has introduced a new application programming interface in version 2.0 Registry to connect to Docker Engine to make it simpler to distribute Docker images. Docker Engine 1.6 supports the new API while maintain backwards compatibility with previous versions of the API.

Junod says that while adoption of Docker is being primarily driven by developers, Docker is committed to making it easier for IT operations teams and developers to collaboratively manage Docker containers. At the moment, the vast majority of Docker containers are being used in application development environments. But a new survey of 658 CIOs published by Enterprise Technology Research finds that Docker containers are by far the technology that most of them plan to deploy in 2015.

Junod says that debate over where Docker containers should best run continues. Many contend that containers should run on bare-metal servers as a more efficient alternative to virtual machines. Others argue that because of the immaturity of Docker security and a paucity of management tools, Docker containers should either run on top of a virtual machine or in a Platform-as-a-Service environment.

The one thing that is for certain at this point is that IT operations teams are soon going to need ways to manage lots of Docker containers, whenever and wherever they happen to find them.

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