DockerCon Europe 2014

I just came back from DockerCon Amsterdam 2014 and here is a summary of the conference with some comments.
The theme of the conference was of course Docker. Just for fun I wrote down the most used terms on the conference just to give you a hint of what the sessions were about…
Orchestration, micro-services, cloud-native, distributed apps, scale and continuous delivery.
The common thread through almost all sessions were orchestration. Seems to me like the word orchestration means a whole lot of stuff while listening to the sessions. It involves creating Docker hosts, containers, clusters and monitoring just from the top of my head.

Docker and especially Solomon Hykes (original creator) and Ben Golub (CEO) spent some time explaining how the project is maintained, governed and how they will try to scale the project to keep up with all Pull Requests coming in. Some stats were presented and the numbers are quite astonishing.

Docker PR stats
It is neat how they handle organizational changes by doing PRs. The Open Design principle is also applied on organization changes by maintaining a file called MAINTAINERS in the repo. Check it out on Github.

Henk Kolk from ING presented how they have reorganized in order to increase speed of development. Developers are first class citizens.
IMG presentation


Docker Compose

An apparent theme of the conference was distributed apps. Meaning that you will run several containers cooperating to fulfill an applications goal. The way Docker has solved it with Docker Compose is very similar to how Fig works. A file describing what containers to bring up and links between them etc. I’m really looking forward to start utilizing the container composition capabilities on our systems.

: .
: python
- "5000:5000"
- .:/code
- redis
: redis:latest
: redis-server --appendonly yes
And to have the containers up and running
% docker up

Docker Machine

In order to address some of the problems involved by getting Docker to run on a new host they announced Docker Machine. It comes with a new command ´machine´ that effectively creates a new Docker enabled host. There are a number of providers that you can use such as AWS, DigitalOcean, VirtualBox etc. When a new host has been created you can run Docker commands on your local machine that actually run on the newly created host. How cool is that?
machine create -d [infrastructure provider] [provider options] [machine name]
I can directly see the use of it in development. However, for production I don’t know yet.

Docker Swarm

Another announcement made on DockerCon Amsterdam 2014 was Dockers new cluster system. It enables us to control a cluster of Docker hosts that automatically puts a new container on a suitable host when running the usual ´docker run …´ command. You can set constraints on the run command for all properties that ´docker info´ gives you. So for example, you can state that OS must be Ubuntu.
% docker run -d -P -m 1g -e "constraint:operatingsystem=ubuntu" redis

Docker Hub

The team from Docker Hub announced a couple of new official images, Tomcat was one among them. They also announced Docker Hub Enterprise for on-premise use cases.

About CoreOS Rocket

The announcement of the CoreOS Rocket project was not commented and discussed officially on the sessions by the Docker team. Rocket is a new container engine project with a similar goal as Docker. It consists of two parts if I am correct; a container specification and an implementation. They spent quite some time talking about some of the things that CoreOS mentioned as flaws in Docker. I had a chat with a guy from the CoreOS team attending the conference. He made some good points and presented why they have started Rocket. The main reasons he mentioned:
  • The all-in-one binary for doing everything. Rocket is split up into multiple binaries more in the way the initial standard container manifesto Docker had. For example. There is probably no need for having the ability to run ´docker push´ or ´docker build´ on a production Docker host.
  • The design choice of having a daemon process for Docker. The design of Rocket is the reverse. Running containers should not depend on a running daemon. A start of a new container is a one-off job for Rocket which terminates after the container is up and running.
He also mentioned that Rocket probably will be somewhat interoperable with Docker.

Fluffy but important takeaways from DockerCon

DocerCon panel discussion

The conferences ended with a really good panel discussion. Here are some quotes I found inspiring.

Speed, especially in development process, is everything! – Adrian Cockcroft

Go deep, not broad. – Adrian Cockcroft

Do yourself a favor and present a new idea/technique in a representative way. A good idea deserves a nice presentation and good argumentation. Try to work with people upstream and downstream. – Solomon Hykes

If you know you have an excellent idea, believe in yourself. Don’t let negative opinions get in your way. – Solomon Hykes

All in all. DockerCon Amsterdam 2014 was a good conference. A lot more stuff can be found on Twitter.

Docker meetup startup resumé

The day after creating the Docker Göteborg Meetup group, around 30 members had joined. Now the are 65 Dockers in the group. The interest and buzz about Docker is intense for sure.
We started the group 21th of October this year and we decided to start off with a introduction meeting. It felt right to have a small group of people (20) and focusing on discussions instead of presentations. Here follows a brief summary of the meeting.

Short introduction of all participants

Everybody introduced themselves. The DRY principle was heavily applied since some people worked at the same company =)

Group introduction

Me and Marcus Lönnberg (the group organizers) are working at SpeedLedger and we started using Docker at SpeedLedger half a year ago. We started to use Docker for some of our internal services and single purpose production services. When we were in  the starting blocks of putting Docker in to use on our flagship product we felt the need to discuss Docker topics in a bigger forum. Hence the meetup group. We also have a co-organizer Katya from Docker who offered her help.

Leading presentation and discussion

We started by defining Docker together by writing down properties and characteristics. Most of them were positive but also some negatives were addressed. We moved on and started talking about how we are using Docker at SpeedLedger. We draw our production environment and a lot of question came up. These were some of the questions:
“How are you coping with docker host updates?”
“Where do you keep configuration? Inside or outside container image?”
“How do you communicating between containers?”
“How is the new production environment working out? Problems?”
“How do you deploy new images?”
A lot of good questions and interesting ideas. To summarize, the majority of the participants are not using Docker in production yet. Some are using it for other purposes such as test environments though.

What now?

We talked about practicalities around the next meetup. We will surely try to gather many more participants for the next meetup in order to involve and attract as many people as possible to the group. Seems like the next meetup would gain popularity by doing having more in-depth presentations. Lets see how that turns out!
Right now I am in Amsterdam and looking forward to attend the DockerCon Europe 2014 conference. If you want to see what comes out of it, follow me on Twitter and continue to follow this blog…
Take care folks!