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Docker + Cloud Volumes ONTAP (formerly ONTAP Cloud)

February 19, 2015

Topics: AWS2 minute read

I've had many conversations about why Docker is cool lately. Docker if you haven't seen or heard of it is a way to virtualize just an application instead running a whole operating system.

The fun part about Docker is how rapidly the images are being released in the Docker repository. Your application needs Java? Just download the docker container with Java in it and you are off to the races.

Machine is where things get interesting for me. Machine creates an environment for docker to come in and do the real work. The impressive part about machine is the number of drivers that are usable in machine already.

  • VirtualBox
  • Azure
  • AWS EC2
  • Google Compute Engine
  • Vmware (Fusion, vCloud Air, & vSphere)
  • OpenStack
  • Hyper-V
  • and more

That's not a small list and it is definitely not a small technical hurdle to do all of that.

Why is a cloud guy like me interested in this?

Easy. I've been predicting application layer virtualization for almost 2 years. Docker is the first one that has come along that has both the momentum and the specifics I was talking about.

I'm not the only one that sees how disruptive docker is. Just check out Amazon's offering in the works: EC2 Container Service

With any luck over the next 6-12 months, the notion of installing a traditional application will seem old school. Just give me a docker container with your application already happy and ready to run. System requirements? Docker. Configuration? You configure it in your docker config file or container.

Why did I get interested in Docker? NetApp just released the "NDMP Cloud Extension" (NCE) software to allow an ndmpcopy to/from Data ONTAP (7 mode or cDOT) to Amazon S3. Very quickly I saw this would be a great program to run in a docker container. I'll update the specifics on that when I get it working.

I intend to write up more about using docker with Cloud Volumes ONTAP. The TLDR version now: Cloud Volumes ONTAP can make any docker host OS happy and especially in hyper-scale environments might even provide better performance at a lower cost. I'll put more specifics on how to do that though shortly.