Act 2 of the container revolution

June 18, 2015 - by Bill Fine

The rise of containers is changing how we develop, package, distribute and manage applications. Containers based on Docker’s image format have been downloaded more than 500 million times in the past year alone. While it may not be clear which application container image format will ultimately prevail (my bet is on Docker), it is clear that Act 1 of the container revolution brought radical simplification and speed to the development process.

In Act 2 a battle will be fought over how and where to run all of these application container images. Legacy infrastructure providers in the cloud (like AWS and Google) and in the data center (like VMware) want application containers to run on the same infrastructure that they’ve been selling for the past decade (EC2 instances and VMs). They make money when applications consume hardware virtual machines.

But, the truth is that application containers don’t need to run on VM hosts. In fact, they were designed to run natively on bare metal, leveraging OS virtualization. Application containers run faster and more efficiently when there isn’t a VM getting in their way. And, the last thing we need are more VMs clogging clouds and data centers, and gulping millions (maybe billions) of kilowatt-hours of electricity, resulting in CO2 emissions that can be avoided if we can find a way to effectively run containers on bare metal in our clouds.

Earlier this week we announced the general availability of Triton Elastic Container Infrastructure, in our data center or yours, and we believe Triton will be the beginning of the end of the practice of running application containers on VM hosts.

Triton is fast. By eliminating layers of virtualization and running containers directly on bare metal, Triton provides containerized applications the highest possible performance. And, because you are running on OS virtualized containers, you can easily scale your applications and infrastructure up and down.

Triton is simple. While other container runtime environments require complex VM host cluster management, and provide only limited networking and security capabilities, Triton transforms an entire data center into an easy to manage, elastic container host, while delivering enterprise grade networking and security to each container.

As Act 2 of the container revolution unfolds, we will build on our existing partnerships. Triton is already the the best place to run Docker containers. Docker-native tools make deploying on Triton as easy as running Docker on your laptop. There is no special software to install or configure. Simply create your account, then configure your Docker CLI to point to our cloud and try a docker run --rm -it ubuntu bash to see how it works. Or go big and deploy a whole database cluster in moments.

And, as we go forward, we will also forge new partnerships with like-minded revolutionaries. Today we announced a partnership with Canonical, which brings Ubuntu, the number one cloud OS, together with Triton, described by Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical and Ubuntu, as “the leading container platform in the business.”

Now, leveraging container-native Ubuntu, optimized by the folks at Canonical to run on Triton, the benefits of containerization can easily be extended to legacy applications and stateful services, such as databases, that may not yet be Dockerized. To see how easy it can be just create your account, then read on about how to containerize an application in infrastructure containers and see the process from start to finish with Couchbase in Triton infrastructure containers.

Whether you are deploying distributed microservices architectures, or traditional database services, we invite you to join the container revolution. Dump your VM! Try your app on Triton.