Docker containers make app development easier. But deploying them in production can be hard.
Software developers are typically focused on a single application, application stack or workload that they need to run on a specific infrastructure. In production, however, a diverse set of applications run on a variety of technology (e.g. Java, LAMP, etc.), which need to be deployed on heterogeneous infrastructure running on-premises, in the cloud or both. This gives rise to several challenges Read more
This article is essentially a guide to getting started with Docker for people who, like me, have a strong IT background but feel a little behind the curve when it comes to containers. We live in an age where new and wondrous technologies are being introduced into the market regularly. If you’re an IT professional, part of your job is to identify which technologies are going to make it into the toolbox for the average developer, and which will be relegated to the annals of history.
Docker is one of those technologies that sounded interesting when it first debuted in 2013, but was easy to ignore because at the time it was not clear whether Docker would ever graduate beyond something that developers liked to play with in their spare time. Personally, I didn’t pay close attention to Docker containers in Docker’s early days. They got lost amid all the other noise in the IT world.
That’s why, in 2016, as Docker continued to rise in prominence, I realized that I’d missed the container boat. Docker was becoming a must-know technology, and I was behind the curve.
If you’re reading this, you may well be in a similar position. But there’s good news: Read more
Open source container management company exceeds revenue goals by twenty percent, reports 19 million software downloads.
Cupertino, Calif. – January 25, 2017 – Rancher Labs, a provider of container management software, today announced momentum in 2016, doubling its employees, exceeding revenue targets by twenty percent and surpassing 19 million software downloads. This growth underscores the heavy demand for its popular open source software that simplifies the deployment and running of containers in production, on any infrastructure.
“2016 was a successful and rewarding year for us, with much of it achieved by the support from our deeply engaged community of developers, users, partners and customers, for which we are incredibly appreciative,” said Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs. “The container industry is fast-moving, and we have a number of plans for this year to ensure we are even better positioned for success. We have a complete and easy-to-use solution, and are the only product on the market that supports Swarm, Kubernetes and Mesos, runs containers on all clouds and delivers these capabilities via an incredibly simple user interface.”
General Availability and Product Enhancements
In March, the company announced the general availability of Rancher, its open source container management platform, including several key enhancements since its original beta release in June 2015. Since Rancher was introduced, Rancher Labs pushed 553 releases which includes key new features such as modular infrastructure services and the ability to use the Rancher orchestration features or the integrated Kubernetes, Docker Swarm or Mesos distributions. In its most recent releases, Rancher Labs extended the Rancher infrastructure services capabilities with Read more
2017 Predictions: Rapid Adoption and Innovation to Come
Rapid adoption of container orchestration frameworks
As more companies use containers in production, adoption of orchestration frameworks like Kubernetes, Mesos, Cattle and Docker Swarm will increase as well. These projects have evolved quickly in terms of stability, community and partner ecosystem, and will act as necessary and enabling technologies for enterprises using containers more widely in production. Read more
Note: Since publishing this article, we’ve gotten requests for a downloadable version. You can request a copy here.
Recent versions of Rancher have added support for several common orchestration engines in addition to the standard Cattle. The three newly supported engines, Swarm (soon to be Docker Native Orchestration), Kubernetes and Mesos are the most widely used orchestration systems in the Docker community and provide a gradient of usability versus feature sets. Although Docker is the defacto standard for containerization, there are no clear winners in the orchestration space. In this article, we go over the features and characteristics of the three systems and make recommendations of use cases where they may be suitable.
Docker Native Orchestration is fairly bare bones at the moment but is getting new features at a rapid clip. Since it is part of the official Docker system, it will be the default choice for many developers and hence will have likely have good tooling and community support. Kubernetes is among the most widely used container orchestration systems today and has the support of Google. Lastly, Mesos with Mesosphere (or Marathon, its open source version) takes a much more compartmentalized approach to service managements where a lot of features are left to independent plug-ins and applications. This makes it easier to customize the deployment as individual parts can be swapped out or customized. However, this also means more tinkering is required to get a working setup. Kubernetes is more opinionated about how to build clusters and ships with integrated systems for many common use cases.
In Part 1: Rancher Server HA, we looked into setting up Rancher Server in HA mode to secure it against failure. There now exists a degree of engineering in our system on top of which we can iterate. So what now? In this installment, we’ll look towards building better service resiliency with Rancher Health Checks and Load Balancing.
Since the Rancher documentation for Health Checks and Load Balancing are extremely detailed, Part 2 will focus on illustrating how they work, so we can become familiar with the nuances of running services in Rancher. A person tasked with supporting the system might have several questions. For example, how does Rancher know a container is down? How is this scenario different from a Health Check? What component is responsible for operating the health checks? How does networking work with Health Checks? Read more