It's a busy time for container technology in the cloud computing market: IBM this week at its InterConnect conference in Las Vegas announced broad support for containers in its hybrid cloud computing software, while Google partnered with OpenStack distributor Mirantis to enable container technology capabilities in the open source cloud platform.
Forrester storage analyst Henry Balatzar reported from IBM InterConnect that: "Everyone is going container crazy."
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Perhaps all the hype is for good reason. Containers are shaping up as breakthrough technology that some believe could rival the impact that virtual machines (VMs) have had in corporate data centers.
The technology allows applications to be bundled in a lightweight container that can be run atop bare metal servers, VMs, or across a variety of hosted platforms. Their portability, combined with ease of spinning them up could be important for application developers and operators. (Check out our FAQ on containers for a more detailed explanation.)
Last fall saw a spate of vendors making container headlines. Red Hat supports Docker, an open source container management platform in its popular RHEL operating system. Amazon Web Services, the leading IaaS provider, announced a cloud-based container management service. VMware made a pitch that customers can manage containers in its virtualization management software.
Now, IBM is taking the formal step of enabling containers in its cloud platform. It is combining traditional Linux containers with new Docker open platform APIs for managing containers. Check out more detailed coverage of IBM's news from InfoWorld here.
Mirantis, a distributor of open source cloud management platform OpenStack, is solidifying the use of container technology in its OpenStack product. The company today announced a partnership with Google's Kubernetes project, which also helps manage containers. Mirantis notes in a press release: "Developers will be able to seamlessly move entire environments between OpenStack private clouds and public clouds that support Kubernetes, such as Google Cloud Platform."
Given all the hoopla about containers, expect more announcements from companies regarding containers throughout this year.