I attended DockerCon this week and if sheer bodies alone indicate the popularity of a technology, I think it’s safe to say Docker is hot, or as Docker put it — it’s a movement. The theme of this year’s conference was "Docker in Production." The idea is, let’s get out of the sandbox and into real-world use cases. Makes sense. So what stands in the way of getting into production?
It turns out that data and storage management are two things that hamper the use of Docker containers in production.
The appetite for “how-tos” on storage – and specifically persistent, shared storage – was big at DockerCon. An EMC session focused on connecting software-defined storage into container environments was packed wall-to-wall. One company presenting in the session was ClusterHQ, developer of Flocker. Flocker manages data volumes for Dockerized apps making it possible, for instance, to shut down and move containers and still maintain access to stateful data. Think portable apps with portable data. Simple, but not supported natively with Docker and it is a must-have for production enterprise app deployments.
(Quick aside – I think it would be cool if our ecosystem partners picked product names that rhymed with Hedvig. Someone start a list!).
ClusterHQ published a study this month on production use of Docker that gives some good stats on where customers are at with regard to Docker deployments. Here are a few nuggets:
- 38% of respondents said they were using containers in actual production environments today.
- 65% of respondents stated they are planning to use containers in production in the next 12 months.
- The top 5 barriers to production container adoption: security, data management, networking, skills & knowledge, and persistent storage
Some companies want to use Docker for dynamic microservices to scale out on demand. Some have more modest corporate application use cases. Others, as evidenced by Jesse Frazelle's Container Hacks and Fun Images session at DockerCon, Dockerize desktop apps just for fun! Our goal at Hedvig is to provide a flexible (and fun!) storage platform to support a wide range of use cases with Docker including true scale-out production rollouts. It is really incumbent upon companies like us to help ensure that the simplicity of containers can tie into storage that is just as simple.
If you’re a storage person and new to Docker, George Crump at Storage Switzerland posted an excellent primer on the technology and the dynamics of containers and storage. Click here to access this post.
Post-DockerCon we are working with Docker and other industry solution providers like ClusterHQ to better define how to best support containers in production so watch this space! For more on what we already do with Docker, click below.