Last week I wrote about how the latest release of Apama now includes support for Predictive Analytics. This week I’m going to look at another significant step forward for Apama 9.9 as the new release also includes support for Docker containers.
What makes Docker exciting is that it is free, it works with all the major OSes and has a lot of industry backing – other container technologies have not had this trio of factors going for them.
For those of you new to Docker, it provides a virtual operating environment for server-based applications. Each application is isolated from other applications running on the same machine and, as it is a virtualized environment, applications are portable across machines (and even across different versions of Linux).
Unlike a virtual machine, however, Docker virtualizes the operating system, rather than the hardware and applications—or host. This lighter weight approach means that containers launch more quickly than virtual machines plus you also can have many times the number of application instances running on the same hardware as you can with virtual machines.
Over the past few months, Docker has been getting a great deal of attention, particularly from key players in the cloud industry, for some very good reasons:
- As applications run in a virtualized environment, they don’t need to know anything about the specific hardware they are running on, which makes it easy to deploy applications across a variety of platforms;
- By packaging all the components an application needs in a single, standardized container, Docker increases the speed and simplicity of deploying and maintaining server-based applications. This is particularly helpful for applications that are intended to run in the cloud;
- The packaging of an application in a container also makes it much easier to move from a testing to a production environment or from one production system to another;
- Instances can be launched more quickly as there is no need to fire up an entire operating system for each instance;
One of the main reasons, however, for Docker’s huge popularity is that applications are run isolated from one another complete with their own file system and memory space, yet compared to running several virtual machines on a single physical machine, Docker has a lower overhead in terms of hardware resources required.
In short, for many applications, Docker provides nearly all the benefits of a virtual machine, but without the overheads associated with running one and is now supported by many of the leading public cloud hosted services including Amazon Web Services™, Google Compute Engine™ and Microsoft Azure™.
Our support for Docker was introduced as a result of customer demand and as part of our efforts to make it as easy as possible for our customers to deploy Apama in any environment they wish, whether that is on premise, or a public, private or hybrid cloud environment.
To find out more about how to implement Apama as a Docker Container, please see a more detailed technical article on this topic here or download the Apama Packaging Kit for Docker from the TECHcommunity.