Persisting solutions for the ephemeral containers

With the advent of Docker, container scene has exploded and it is taking everyone by storm. It has gotten everyone excited: from Developers to QA engineers, from Deploy managers to System Administrators. Everyone wants to adopt it and start incorporating it in their workflow.

However, there are inherent challenges to manage, run and operate such systems at scale. First challenge begins  with trying to run ephemeral containers in a static world of hardwares. Most of us are trying to retrofit existing solutions and our mindsets into the new way of doing things. Others are focused on building orchestration tools like Kubernetes, Mesos or Cloud Foundry’s Lattice. I call these orchestration tools as a kernel of the data center operating system. There is a very little focus given to building tools around the kernel to make a truly distributed data-center specific GNU like operating system. Things like centralized logging, monitoring and alerting, metrics collection, persistent storage, service discovery etc. are the things, which needs solidification for the container ecosystem.

To compare, we just need to go back few decades to see how GNU operating system got evolved. We need to put our GNU hat on and see how they made it possible with the collection of applications, libraries, developer tools and even games with a solid Linux based kernel.

We, at YP, have devised some of the solutions around these problems. You can check out some of the work that we have made opensource.

Sysdig has also compiled “The Container Ecosystem Project”. Please check them out. There are some really interesting technologies mentioned there.

As I mentioned, there is a lot of movement and everybody is trying to get a head start in developing their own technologies that works for them. I feel the GNU god has to come down once again: to show us the right way to consolidate all these disjointed systems to work as a true data center operating system.

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