Docker has continued to gain more and more momentum, and recently announced a slew of new releases.  One of the areas Docker gets stuck in port on has often been enterprise level features.  These new updates further enhance features that have the potential to help greatly with enterprise deployments.  Let’s look at what you need to get docker containers running with the latest updates.

Docker Containers Running

Docker Swarm 1.0

Docker Swarm, or the ability to run Docker applications in a cluster has reached its 1.0 release.  Docker swarm creates a logical construct of resources, eliminating the need for Docker administrators to worry about things like container placement on a host.  In testing, Docker has scaled up to 1,000 nodes and 3,000 containers in AWS without issue, and will be providing more technical information about their scaling capabilities.

Docker Engine 1.9

Docker Engine is usually what people are talking about when they simply say Docker.  Docker has grown by leaps and bounds, and so have the technologies surrounding it such as Docker Swarm.  New in Docker Engine 1.9 are enhanced build arguments and statistics, specifically around Disk I/O.  Speaking of disk, there are also enhancement to Docker’s version of persistent storage, or Docker volumes.

Docker Compose 1.5

Docker Compose is the aspect of Docker which lets you create your containers and applications.  Perhaps the most exciting feature of Docker Compose 1.5 is Windows support.  Yes, that’s right, I can build an environment on Windows and move it right on over to Mac.  Docker Compose 1.5 is a part of Docker Toolbox

Docker Toolbox

Docker Toolbox is your one stop shop for getting up and docker containers running quickly with Docker from the comfort of your very laptop.  Docker Toolbox contains the Docker Client, Docker Machine, Docker Compose, Kitematic and Virtual box, which is everything you need to get started with Docker on your Windows or Mac OS machine.  The inclusion of Kitematic, purchased by Docker in March of this year, also helps those who are looking for a GUI to add onto the Docker feature set.  The Docker Toolbox deprecates the previous Boot2Docker application which provided core Docker functionality on OSX, Linux, and Windows test environments.

Docker Registry 2.2

Docker Registry, or the place you dock your containers (where you store your Docker images) has also gotten a number of enhancements.  Two of the biggest features are read-only mode, so others can’t edit images, only use them, and the Google Cloud Storage Driver, allowing you to store Docker Images in the Google cloud.

Networking in Docker also got a distinct boost with some great feature updates, including multi-host Docker networking.  Using this SDN approach, containers can now be connected together across multiple hosts.  Physical and virtual host boundaries now drop in favor of a production-ready Docker networking suite that can be accessed by all of the Docker tools and keeps the network teams on board as VXLAN makes the move into the container infrastructure.

Nothing is perfect of course, but even as some issues are identified (https://github.com/docker/docker/issues), the Docker ecosystem continues to grow.  There is no doubt that the tools are indicating a more mature approach to the infrastructure management.  Better visualization and orchestration have long been on the most-wanted list for features.  As we see Kubernetes gaining traction, and other Docker-friendly container hosting platforms and tools coming up, we will see some big interest growing.

Conclusion

Docker containers are here to stay.  The only question is are ready to consume technology in this way?  Judging by the number of contributors, meetups, conferences, projects, and tools built around Docker, the answer is yes.  For more information on all of the great new features and functionalities in the latest Docker releases be sure to check out the blog on the Docker site (http://blog.docker.com/2015/11/docker-1-9-production-ready-swarm-multi-host-networking/)

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