Docker

David Lee's picture

On June, An open source technology called Docker was strongly introduced by Google uber engineer Eric Brewer, who said that a developer technology hasn’t taken off so enormously since the rise of Ruby on Rails framework. Docker is a Container to package network services, make various tasks isolated on a computer server, preventing them interfering with one another. And much more importantly, this Container can be easily moved to different servers to deploy service without heavily effort.

There is a vision of developers with cloud computing that the internet should be treated as a giant computer which can provide unlimited computing resource. But it is not true. The same service is hard to run on different platforms or hosts. Virtual Machine provide a solution, but it is required to deploy an image of whole the operating system. By comparison, Docker provides an extremely lightweight way to deploy service more quickly and more conveniently.

We must introduce Eric Brewer, one of the elite engineer in Google. In the mid-1990s, as a professor of University of California, Berkeley, Brewer built Inktomi, the first web search engine to run on a vast network of cheap machines, as opposed to one enormously powerful–and enormously expensive–computer server. Over the next two decades, companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook learned on the philosophy of CAP theorem by Brewer, reach to an extreme distance. “He is the grandfather of all the technologies that run inside Google,” says Craig Mcluckie, a longtime product manager for Google’s cloud services.

Docker is an open source built by a tiny startup in San Francisco, but it have been have been heated discussed among Silicon Valley engineers, and Brewer’s speech should provide an enormous boost. Although the concept and technology of Container is not a whole new idea, which has been developed many years on Linux system, Docker provide an easier solution to move such containers from one machine to another.“They’ve done a very nice job of making it easy to package up your software and deploy it in a regularized way,” Brewer says. “They’re making the container a more effective container.”

On the other words, developers can build softwares and services on a laptop, and immediately move it onto a cloud service without making changes. the more operating systems and cloud service providers support Docker, the nearer cloud computing environment become the look it should be. Fortunately, CLoud services from Amazon, Rackspace and Digital Ocean have backed the Docker technology in addition to Google.

Docker is not perfect yet. Software developed for one platform is not always portable to another. There still some effort should be made from cloud service provider like Google and communities. However, just like the eBay developer Ted Dzuiba said, “If you believe that what makes life easier for developers is where things are moving, then this containerization thing is where things are moving.”

Reference: Google Embraces Docker, the Next Big Thing in Cloud Computing (http://www.wired.com/2014/06/eric-brewer-google-docker/)