Docker, the leading vendor in the container industry, has been dipping into its pockets again, this time to acquire French file sync company Infinit. Yep, Docker, the company whose core product is a container management and deployment technology, is acquiring a consumer file sync company.
At first glance, this is an odd acquisition. Infinit is a company with a product that appears similar to Aspera, Accellion, or even good old-fashioned FTP. If you need to share your files, but email send or receive limits are getting in the way, Infinit allows you to create a Share directly to other Infinit users or a link that can be emailed to non–Infinit users to access your files directly, thereby allowing them to download them for review or further work.
When we were first introduced to Docker containers, we were told that they should be ephemeral and stateless. It turns out that there are lot of great uses for Docker containers that are either stateful or long-lived. The stateful part is leading to a bunch of startups that have storage products to deliver persistent storage to these stateful containers. Even our old friends at VMware are in on this game. Their Photon platform is going to include VSAN to provide persistent storage for containers.
How do you distribute an application that uses containers? This seems to be an odd question. Container-based applications are usually associated with Software as a Service (SaaS) applications and public cloud deployment. However, there is still a place for software that is purchased and installed on-premises in a data center. If the software is in the form of containers that will run inside the customer’s data center, then how will the software be deployed and managed? How will scaling work, and how will updates be deployed?
There has been a lot of discussion recently about whether forking Docker makes sense. Driving this discussion are complaints from the Docker community and ecosystem about the speed at which Docker is releasing software and the perceived quality of those releases. Unless you have been hiding under a rock lately, you know that Docker is one of the most popular open-source projects in the world. Docker’s rise from a concept to a dominant force in the industry is a story for the ages. As Docker and containers continue to gain adoption in both non-production and production environments, vendors have been flocking to provide services that support or enhance Docker containers.
Container technologies are the new disruption, but in an old way. vMotion heralded the age of containers. They change the fundamental view of computing, toward heavily automated, orchestrated, and distributed systems, where high availability is not within the server and operating system, but is within the application itself. Containers themselves are not new, but how we used them has changed how we think about computing and applications.
Can you believe that we are over halfway through 2016? With summer in full swing and VMworld 2016 right around the corner, I thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at how VMware is doing and to offer some midyear insights.