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Docker 1.7 Debuts with Experimental SDN

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted June 26, 2015

This week was a big week for Docker news with the announcement of the Open Container Project as well as new innovations from Docker Inc on its core Docker efforts.

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Starting with the new Docker engine 1.7 release, there are now experimental features for users to test out. DockerThe first such experimental feature is the new libnetwork component that enables a pluggable system for Software-Defined Networking (SDN).

Much of the work behind Docker's SDN effort comes from technologies it gains via the acquisition of SocketPlane in March.

"The Socketplane team has turned their efforts internally toward the Docker project itself," Scott Johnston, SVP of Products at Docker Inc, told ServerWatch. "Libnetwork has refactored our entire network interface, and the Socketplane team has done a lot of work on that."

The Docker engine 1.7 is being complemented by new incremental releases of Docker Compose for defining multi-container applications and Docker Swarm container clustering system. From a branding perspective, Johnston said that Docker Inc is now referring to all the products as the Docker Platform.

Bundled Install on the Way for Docker?

Typically in a technology platform there is also some form of bundling, whether for installation or dashboard management. That's not yet the case for the Docker platform. Johnston noted that currently it's just a collection of individual components, but that's likely to change in the future.

"For the developer that wants the single experience and hits click to install the entire platform in a configured and proscriptive way — that's the direction," Johnston said. "You can see the rough outline of this in the Kitematic product today."

Kitematic, which Docker Inc acquired in March, is a desktop tool for running Docker containers on a Mac. Johnston explained that Kitematic has a slick GUI and automatically downloads Docker machine, which then sets up Docker engine and it in turn sets up a virtual machine to put that engine on top of.

Commercial Tools

Docker Inc is also introducing the new Docker Trusted Registry (DTM), which extends the Docker Hub Registry technology that has been available for a year.

Docker Hub Registry is a repository of Docker application images for users to download and run. DTM is an on-premises solution, and can be integrated with ActiveDirectory and LDAP directory servers for user authentication.

Additionally, Docker Inc is now extending its support services with a package that includes the open-source Docker engine paired with DTM or Docker Hub.

"It's all wrapped around a commercial subscription agreement that includes support for Docker engine as well as the back end," Johnston said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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