Container Virtualization platforms

2017. Kubernetes comes to Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services added long-awaited support for the Kubernetes container orchestration system on top of its Elastic Container Service (ECS). Kubernetes has become something of a de facto standard for container orchestration. It already had the backing of Google (which incubated it), as well as Microsoft and virtually every other major cloud player. So AWS is relatively late to the party here but it does already have over 100,000 active container clusters on its service and that these users spin up millions of containers already. AWS’s users are clearly interested in running containers and indeed, many of them already ran Kubernetes on top of AWS, but without the direct support of AWS. But with this new service, AWS will manage the container orchestration system for its users. ECS for Kubernetes will support the latest versions of Kubernetes and AWS will handle upgrades and all of the management of the service and its clusters.

2017. Microsoft Azure shifts its focus to Kubernetes

As far as container orchestration goes, Kubernetes is quickly becoming the de facto standard, even as Docker Swarm and Mesos/Mesosphere DC/OS continue to find their own niches. For the longest time, Microsoft argued that one of the advantages of its managed Azure Container Service (ACS) was its support for multiple orchestration tools, but that’s shifting a bit today and Microsoft is changing the acronym for the Azure Container Service to AKS where K stands for Kubernetes. AKS itself is free, but you still pay for the VMs that actually run your containers, of course. That’s unlike the Google Container Engine, which charges users a flat fee per hour and cluster on its service. It’s a small fee, but it’s not free.

2017. Docker offers native Kubernetes support

Kubernetes, the open source tool developed by Google, has won the battle of container technologies. So Docker announced native support for Kubernetes. The company hasn’t given up completely on its own orchestration tool, Docker Swarm, but by offering native Kubernetes support for the first time, it is acknowledging that people are using it in sufficient numbers that they have to build in support. To take the sting away from supporting a rival tool, they are offering an architecture that enables users to select an orchestration engine at run time. That can be Swarm or Kubernetes each time without any need to alter code.

2016. Google launches a more scalable and robust Kubernetes

Google released the next version of Kubernetes, its open source orchestration service for deploying, scaling and managing software containers. The focus of version 1.3 is on providing Kubernetes users with a more scalable and robust system for managing their containers in production. In addition, Kubernetes now also supports more emerging standards including CoreOS’s rkt, and those put forward by the Open Container Initiative (OCI) and Container Network Interface (CNI) initiatives. With this update the users will be able to set up services that span multiple clusters that can even be hosted across multiple clouds, too. Google notes that this enables new hybrid and multi-cloud scenarios and will allow for creating high-availability clusters that are more resistant to outages.

2016. Microsoft expands its support for Docker containers

Microsoft announced that it is great expanding its support for Docker containers by more deeply integrating it into a number of its enterprise and DevOps tools. Microsoft’s interest in Docker is no secret. It’s even building Docker support right into the next release of Windows Server, after all (even as it’s also building its own Hyper-V container solutions). The company even showed how the upcoming Linux version of SQL Server can run in containers on Ubuntu. As far as these new integrations go, Microsoft today announced that Docker Datacenter, Docker’s subscription-based commercial platform, is now available in the Azure marketplace, so anybody who wants to get a supported version of Docker up and running on Azure can now do so pretty quickly.

2016. Docker acquired cloud infrastructure startup Unikernel Systems

Containers management startup Docker announced the acquisition of Unikernel Systems, a startup that aims to bring unikernels to the masses of developers. Docker plans to integrate support for unikernels into its own tools and services as it’s starting to look at technologies beyond containers to help developers build even more efficient microservices architectures. The price of the acquisition was not disclosed. The basic idea behind unikernels is to strip down the operating system to the absolute minimum so it can run a very specific application. Nothing more, nothing less. This means you would compile the necessary libraries to run an application right into the kernel of the operating system, for example.

2015. Google Container Engine now supports the latest version of Kubernetes

Google is launching updates to its Container Engine, the service for automatically managing clusters to run and orchestrate container deployments. From now it supports the latest version of Kubernetes (version 1.1). This new version introduces a number of performance improvements and those are now also available to Container Engine users. This means Container Engine now also features horizontal pod autoscaling (which basically adds more servers to your cluster when needed), as well as an HTTP load balancer that lets developers route traffic to different Kubernetes services based on traffic. The team also re-architected the networking system with an eye on speed. Google says this work (which introduced native iptables to Container Engine) “virtually eliminates CPU overhead and improves reliability.”

2014. CoreOS invented the new container technology to fight Docker

For the past several months container technology Docker was on its way to becoming the de-facto standard for container technology. Now CoreOS, the Linux operating system specialist, is unveiling is own competitive technology - Rocket, kicking off what could become a container-standardization war between the two entities. CoreOS states, that Docker’s effort to develop its enterprise-oriented lineup of features has caused the company to lose sight of its goal of making sure that its core container technology is lightweight and portable. And that now Docker is competing with container-management-and-orchestration services like Google’s Kubernetes or the new Amazon EC2 Container service. Rocket is basically a container engine, like Docker, but without all the extras Docker’s been working on to make itself more enterprise friendly. These features include tools for spinning up cloud servers, the ability to have clustered systems and even networking capabilities.

2014. Cloud container technology provider Docker gets $40M in funding

Docker, the company that backs the open source Docker container platform, has raised $40 million in Series C funding. This current round of funding highlights just how important Docker’s take on container technology is perceived to be among investors and the tech community. The container-management startup has captured the attention of the cloud world this summer with numerous big tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon and VMware showing support for the startup by ensuring that their own platforms are compatible with Docker’s container technology. Docker’s platform makes it easier for developers to deploy their applications across many different environments without having to worry that one particular component of an application — like a database — will impact another component.