Upcoming Docker Release Introduces Container Orchestration Directly Into Runtime Engine

The next Docker release will introduce container orchestration functionality embedded directly into the core engine to support the creation of distributed applications across cloud hosts.

Docker founder and Chief Technology Officer Solomon Hykes will discuss the upcoming upgrades to the groundbreaking container standard and the complex multi-cloud architectures they enable Monday morning from the third DockerCon convention in Seattle.

Version 1.12, which will be released in July, implements in the core engine a feature called Swarm Mode -- built-in orchestration that's resilient, self-healing and highly scalable, David Messina, Docker's senior vice president of marketing, told CRN.

[Related: Docker Hardens Application And Workflow Security With Latest Release]

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"We're at the point where the key next step for containers is building multi-container applications that are deployed on multiple hosts," Messina said. "The engine itself becomes effectively a decentralized building block to group together what we call a swarm, what other environments call clusters, to create scalable distributed deployments."

The capability to build and deploy those kinds of distributed apps is ripe for democratization, he said, in much the same way Docker just a couple years ago brought Linux containers to the masses.

"You have something so simple that it can run on a developer's laptop or scale across a global enterprise," Messina said.

In developing swarm mode, Messina said, Docker imposed three requirements for the orchestration solution: It had to be simple, operationally robust and resilient, and secure by default.

While the orchestration capabilities will ship directly embedded in Docker engine, the container technology’s fundamental building block, activating those capabilities will be optional. Customers can choose to ignore swarm mode and instead use third-party orchestration tools developed by ecosystem partners.

Some heavyweight partners, such as IBM and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, have started bundling Docker engine with their hardware and offering commercial support.

"You will see more of these partnerships moving forward in the back half of the year," Messina told CRN.

And Docker has been integrated into the two largest cloud providers.

Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are introducing Docker 1.12 in a private beta release before the product becomes generally available in July.