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Much more than just Kubernetes support – Docker EE’s next big release!
Sameer Kumar I Senior Solution Architect, Ashnik
Not quite long ago at DockerCon Europe 2017, Docker announced that the next major release of Docker Enterprise Edition Platform will support Kubernetes. What I really liked about this announcement was that it was not just an announcement for commercial support or integration between two technologies but it was rather a reunion of two major communities in the container world.
Since the beginning, Docker has been focusing on making things easier for end users. Be it with the built-in orchestration engine – Swarm or sophisticated image scanning in DTR, their focus has always been on making things look simple. I was eagerly waiting to see how they would achieve the operational ease and simplicity with Kubernetes integration. I finally got a chance with Docker’s beta program to try out Kubernetes integration and I must say that Docker has again lived up to their standards of “easy to use”. With Docker EE 2.0, Swarm and Kubernetes cluster would sit side by side, like best buddies and will have their own set of resources to manage. You don’t have to install Kubernetes or related services separately, it will automatically get added when you add a new node to a UCP cluster. There is also a lot of work being done to ensure that customers would have freedom when they want to move out of Docker EE platform – that is the true spirit of Open Source. Docker EE has been certified as Kubernetes Conformant under the new Kubernetes certification launched by CNCF. Another important thing to note is Docker’s focus on ensuring Developer and Operation experiences are aligned well. The best example of this is Kubernetes for Windows and Mac. We are not done yet! With this new version, you will also be able to run your Docker Compose and Docker Stack applications on Kubernetes. Isn’t that fantastic? You can finally have your cake and eat it too!
Well, that is not all that the next release of Docker is about. There are new enhancements in the native swarm orchestrator and also in DTR. One of the things that I personally liked a lot in Docker’s platform was HTTP Routing Mesh. It made my life so easier while deploying services. In one of my previous blogs, I tried to explain how it can be leveraged for doing continuous integration and continuous deployments. But still, it lacked some of the capabilities like path based routing, application name based redirection (which you might need for blue-green deployments) and SSL termination. Good news is, all these are going to be supported now. What makes it even better is, HRM 2.0 (which is based on interlock) will allow you to choose the image for reverse proxy. Out of the box, it supports HA-Proxy and NGINX but there is scope for third-party plug-ins. Let’s say, you are looking for an enterprise-grade reverse proxy and load-balancer which is already widely used. You can choose NGINX Plus image instead of default NGINX image. You will be able to do SSL Termination or SSL proxy pass depending on your compliance needs. This brings me to another thing that I like about Docker’s container platform – it does not force you into a PaaS solution which has its defined way of doing things and then your development and operations team is forced to work around it. Docker EE gives you so much of freedom and flexibility.
Any discussion on Docker cannot be wrapped up without mention of Docker Trusted Registry (DTR). It is probably the most secure on-premise Docker image repository. And the super easy integration between UCP and DTR is unparalleled. No other orchestration platform is so well integrated with a super secure repository. I was wondering what would happen when Kubernetes is introduced to the mix. And guess what, nothing! Nothing changes! DTR 2.5 will have the same integration with UCP 2.0, as it had previously. The same secure pipeline of image creation and storage will be now available to you when using Kubernetes. In the previous DTR release, there was a feature to auto-promote images if they matched certain standards and criteria. Now, that same has been extended to allow users to mirror repositories across DTR clusters or to DockerHub. This could be a good way for users to promote images from one environment to another or to have a DR DTR instance. How many times have you been embarrassed by trying to push an image while the repository did not exist? Don’t worry, now DTR can create a repository upon push which means easier integration with CI/CD pipelines and fewer admin interventions.
To sum it up, the next major release of Docker’s Enterprise Edition platform has some great features. While the Kubernetes integration was in limelight since the announcement, there are also great enhancements the existing features of Docker Enterprise Edition – Swarm, HRM and DTR. If you are trying out containers or trying to chalk out a new micro-services or container strategy for production deployment, you should come over and check out the Docker features at an upcoming Docker Tech Workshop on 26th April 2018 in Singapore. The workshop is free and by invite only, so go ahead and throw your name in!
Sameer Kumar I Senior Solution Architect, Ashnik
Sameer Kumar is Database Solution Architect working with Ashnik. He has worked on many complex setups and migration assignments for some of the key customers from Retail, BFSI and Telecom Sector. Sameer is a certified PostgreSQL and EDB Postgres Plus Advanced Server Professional. He is also a certified Postgres Trainer and has delivered many training for public and corporate batches. He is well versed with other RDBMS e.g. DB2, Oracle and SQL Server and is also trained on NoSQL technologies viz MongoDB. He has worked closely with customer and helped them build analytics platform on NoSQL databases and migrate from RDBMS to MongoDB. And while he’s in the free mode, he loves to take his cycle around Singapore for a spin.
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