The Docker project has made available the first downloadable versions of three key orchestration tools to automate the deployment of Docker containers, cluster them together, and assemble multi-container distributed applications.
Docker is now releasing finished versions of the trio, which are intended to allow developers and sysadmins to create and manage distributed applications, but also to make them more portable for easy deployment.
Portability is about having the freedom to run container-based applications on anything from a laptop to a physical server or virtual machine running in the cloud, and the ability to move them easily from one cloud to another, according to Docker.
"Distributed applications are dynamically evolving and in constant motion, which is why Docker orchestration uniquely covers application portability at all phases of the application development lifecycle," said Docker Project chief architect Solomon Hykes.
Docker Machine provides automation for the provisioning of a container environment. It enables the creation of a container host, such as a virtual machine, and the deployment of the Docker Engine inside it, all from a single command, according to Docker.
Drivers to support this are already available for numerous platforms, including Amazon EC2, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Softlayer, Microsoft Azure and Hyper-V, OpenStack, and VMware vSphere, while the Docker community is encouraging submissions for others.
Docker Swarm provides native clustering capabilities, as well as integration with third-party tools and services, in recognition of the fact that other tools have also been developed to address the clustering problem.
For example, if a customer wants to replace Docker's Swarm with an open source cluster manager like Kubernetes, they will be able to this, the firm has said.
Swarm provides the framework to enable multi-container, multi-host distributed applications that can scale from one system while in development to spanning hundreds of hosts once in production, according to Docker.
Meanwhile, Docker Compose addresses the problem of packaging and shipping distributed applications. It enables developers to create multi-container implementations that are described using a YAML file to define which containers comprise the application and the links between them.
In effect, Compose uses the YAML file to create and maintain a logical definition of a distributed application that can move from a developer's laptop all the way into a production environment, Docker said. Compose-built multi-container applications are intended to run using Swarm.
Mirantis and Google disclosed earlier this week they are working to integrate the Kubernetes project into OpenStack, making it easier to deploy containerised applications in a cloud based on the OpenStack platform.
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