Docker has introduced a complete platform designed to enable enterprise firms to operate new and existing workloads as containerised applications in the data centre or on public clouds, giving developers the freedom to innovate while enabling the IT department to have oversight and control.
Available immediately, Docker Datacenter (DDC) is an integrated suite that pulls together existing open source components such as Docker Engine and Docker Swarm, with new commercial components such as Docker Universal Control Plane and Docker Trusted Registry.
The suite forms what Docker labels a containers-as-a-service (CaaS) platform that can run atop cloud-based infrastructure such as OpenStack or VMware, or on a public cloud such as Amazon Web Services, or even on bare metal infrastructure, providing complete application lifecycle management for container deployments.
Docker as a container platform has been around for several years, but the firm said that organisations have been asking for help not just in managing the deployment of containerised applications, but with their development lifecycle and integration with IT operations.
"Docker was adopted first by developers who started going nuts and building all these Dockerised applications, but their operations teams then came to us and asked for tools to help to manage the pipeline all the way into production," said Scott Johnson, senior vice president of product management at Docker.
DDC is Docker's answer to this, and is being styled as CaaS because traditional platform-as-a-service stacks are too constraining in the infrastructure and tools they support, Johnson claimed.
"The CaaS category really acknowledges that the different types of application are many, that there's a wide variety of applications that the IT department wants to develop and deploy, and that IT operations have made investments in existing infrastructure, whether that's compute, network, storage, cloud or on-premise. Whatever those are, we need to respect those investments," he said.
Much of DDC is based on open source projects, meaning that the existing APIs enable it to integrate with tools such as New Relic and AppDynamics for monitoring, Splunk for logging and VMware and Cisco stacks for networking.
In fact, the only requirement for DDC is the Linux kernel, although it will run on any Linux distribution, according to Docker.
DDC is designed to deliver a so-called DevOps model by enabling more agile development while the IT operations people can maintain control over what is actually allowed to run on the corporate infrastructure.
A key part of this is the Docker Content Trust feature that was added to version 1.8 of the Docker Engine last year, which provides support for signed images to make it possible to verify the publisher of a Docker image. In concert with Docker Trusted Registry, organisations can now store and manage a library of verified images.
"IT operations can give devs the freedom to go off and build applications, but they now do so with controlled sets of images and controlled packages so they know what's in them when they come to deploy," Johnson explained.
"So this represents pre-approved hardened images that have been signed off by operations and security, and the devs can just self-service onto their desktop or laptop and start assembling an application from these pre-built microservices."
When it comes to deployment, developers can then simply pull the application resources out of the registry and push them onto ready-configured Docker clusters managed by the operations team.
"DDC can provision clusters and deploy applications into resources in the cloud or the data centre, and the portable properties of Docker applications mean that developers can build these without having to know where they are ultimately going to be deployed, whether that's the cloud or the data centre or both," Johnson said.
DDC has apparently been in private beta for about six months with customers such as outsourcing services firm ADP.
"Docker's CaaS approach will enable us to drive transformation across the entire application lifecycle from development to operations," said ADP chief technology officer Keith Fulton.
"A key feature for us is the end-to-end integration with Docker Content Trust to centrally administer and control our images so that only signed and validated content can be used or deployed into a production environment."
DDC is also available as download trial version for evaluation. Licensing starts at $150 per node per month.
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