LinuxONE, Containers and Docker

I am sure you have seen the recent LinuxONE announcements from IBM over the last month but wanted to draw you attention to the Scalable Financial Trading Analysis & Insight demo presented by @DonnaExplorer during LinuxCon. It is arguably our coolest demo since the days of the Mettle Test. We can prove that LinuxONE system can perfectly run sentiment analysis, trade transactions and geospatial analysis … with open source products like Spark, MongoDB, MariaDB, PosgreSQL, Docker, Kafka, Chef and node.js. It is really exciting and impressive stuff!

Maybe you have missed the Thought Leadership White Paper about Open Source Solutions on LinuxONE … the paper is showing superior LinuxONE performance and throughput in open source benchmarks.

Lets talk about containers now, as it was the hottest topic on the LinuxCon 2015. I have to admit that containers are new to me. I’ve made some research so let me share some ideas with you. Here is a good high level summary (courtesy of blogger Greg Ferro):

“Containers virtualize at the operating system level, Hypervisors virtualize at the hardware level. Hypervisors abstract the operating system from hardware, containers abstract the application from the operation system. Hypervisors consumes storage space for each instance. Containers use a single storage space plus smaller deltas for each layer and thus are much more efficient. Containers can boot and be application-ready in less than 500ms and creates new designs opportunities for rapid scaling. Hypervisors boot according to the OS typically 20 seconds, depending on storage speed.”

Simplified comparison of containers with virtual machines:

With virtualization technology, the package that can be passed around is a virtual machine and it includes an entire operating system as well as the application. A physical server running three virtual machines would have a hypervisor and three separate operating systems running on top of it.

By contrast a server running three containerized applications as with Docker runs a single operating system, and each container shares the operating system kernel with the other containers. Shared parts of the operating system are read only, while each container has its own mount (i.e., a way to access the container) for writing. That means the containers are much more lightweight and use far fewer resources than virtual machines.

Will containers eventually replace full blown server virtualization?

That’s unlikely in the short term if for no other reason than that virtual machines offer better security than containers. It’s also likely that virtualization and containers may come to be seen as complementary technologies rather than competing ones. That’s because containers can be run in lightweight virtual machines to increase isolation and increase security, and because hardware virtualization makes it far easier to manage the hardware infrastructure such as networks, servers and storage which are needed to support containers.

For more information:

Docker – as the leading container technology – works perfectly on LinuxONE and gives our clients more deployment choices. Read about possible use cases in the Docker FAQ, print this article or contact me for more details.

Editors Note:  Martin Dvorsky is new to this blog, but based on the post is well worth me bugging for future posts.  Also recommend you follow him on Twitter

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