Docker packs container orchestration within its Docker engine

Credit: EROL/Flickr

Customers now don’t need orchestration tools like Kubernetes.

At the DockerCon conference in Seattle this week, the company announced the release of Docker Engine 1.12. With this release Docker is building the orchestration capabilities within the Docker Engine.

While Docker has made it extremely easy to use containers, orchestration of containers remained a challenge. And orchestration is what brings the real benefit of containers to customers. Orchestration allows companies to deploy complex multi-container apps across machines.

“Orchestration is at the same stage today as containerization was before Docker,” said Solomon Hykes, founder and CTO at Docker.

There are many open source orchestration technologies, including Kubernetes and Docker Swarm, that help customers in orchestrating their containers. But by building the orchestration capabilities within Docker Engine, Docker is becoming a one-stop-shop for containers.

Essentially, Docker Engine is bringing the capabilities of Docker Swarm and Docker Compose into the core of Docker. The company stressed in a blog post that “container orchestration would be easier to implement, more portable, secure, resilient, and faster if it was built into the platform.”

Developers can now simply turn on the "swarm mode" if they want orchestration capabilities. It’s optional, which means customers can still use whatever orchestration tools they want.

Docker said that Docker Engine 1.12 design is based on 4 principles: 

  • Simple Yet Powerful – Orchestration is a central part of modern distributed applications; it’s so central that we have seamlessly built it into our core Docker Engine. Our approach to orchestration follows our philosophy about containers: no setup, only a small number of simple concepts to learn, and an “it just works” user experience.
  • Resilient – Machines fail all the time. Modern systems should expect these failures to occur regularly and adapt without any application downtime that’s why a zero single-point-of-failure design is a must.
  • Secure – Security should be the default.  Barriers to strong security — certificate generation, having to understand PKI — should be removed.  But advanced users should still be able to control and audit every aspect of certificate signing and issuance.
  • Optional Features and Backward Compatibility – With millions of users, preserving backwards compatibility is a must for Docker Engine.  All new features are optional, and you don’t incur any overhead (memory, cpu) if you don’t use them. Orchestration in Docker Engine aligns with our platform’s batteries included but swappable approach allowing users to continue using any third-party orchestrator that is built on Docker Engine.

“As the adoption curve for Docker continues to grow, developers have encountered growing pains with orchestration at scale,” Fintan Ryan, industry analyst with RedMonk, said in a press statement. “With the inclusion of secure built-in orchestration in the 1.12 release, Docker is providing developers with a simple-to-use, yet extremely powerful, orchestration tool while further investing in a consistent, easy-to-manage experience for operations."

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