SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Ed Featherston, Kevin Benedict, Adrian Bridgwater, Carmen Gonzalez

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ADDING MULTIMEDIA ClusterHQ Introduces Flocker to Solve Docker Data Problems

ClusterHQ™, The Data People for Docker™, today announced Flocker™ 0.1, the container industry’s first solution for reliably running databases, key-value stores and queues inside Docker containers. An open-source volume and container manager, Flocker is the only software that solves the significant operational challenges that come from running data-backed services inside containers. Flocker allows developers to define their application as a set of connected Docker containers, deploy and then easily migrate them along with their data between hosts, even when in different data centers.

“Managing containers with persistent state is a significant problem today,” said Gabriel Monroy, founder and CTO of popular open source platform as a service (PaaS), Deis. “Containerized databases are not suitable for production workloads without solutions for data migration, cloning and failover. We are excited to see the ClusterHQ team tackling these problems head-on.”

The proliferation of Linux containers is exploding, with leading industry analyst firm MarketsandMarkets forecasting that the global PaaS market will grow over 32 percent per year from $1.28 billion in 2013 to nearly $7 billion in 2018. As a preferred unit of deployments for PaaS, Linux containers are expected to make up a large part of that market. Linux containers are also expected to be widely adopted in Global 2000 private clouds.

While the Linux container market is growing fast, its growth is held back by a lack of support for production-ready data services, the heart of most applications.

“Production-ready, data-backed services represent the biggest challenge for PaaS adoption,” said Colin Humphreys, CEO of CloudCredo, an enterprise Cloud Foundry services provider whose clients include Pivotal, the makers of Cloud Foundry. “Solving the data problem such that databases and other data-backed services can be run inside containers will unleash a massive amount of pent up demand for containers.”

Efficient Storage for Containers

Flocker is the result of more than five years of research, development and operational experience combining resilient, distributed, commodity storage with containers. Two years ago, the company launched HybridCluster, an advanced container management platform based on FreeBSD Jails. Production customer deployments of HybridCluster have proven the resilience and scalability of ClusterHQ’s advanced technology. This experience has enabled the company to move extremely quickly to solve the data problem for Docker and Linux.

Flocker adds the following benefits to the Docker platform:

  • Ability to define an entire application, including its databases, as a set of connected containers
  • Easy migration of databases, queues and key values stores along with rest of the application
  • Support for deployment to and between any public, private or bare metal clouds

The ClusterHQ team are technical experts in storage, networking and containers who have successfully driven open source adoption in developer-led communities. The team holds seven patents related to operating container-based applications at scale.

“Just as the virtual machine (VM) market required an enormous amount of capabilities to be developed around the hypervisor in order to fully mature, the Docker market needs the kind of advanced technology that ClusterHQ is delivering today,” said Luke Marsden, CEO of ClusterHQ. “Containers and Docker currently capture only the easy, data-free parts of an application. Flocker encapsulates the entire app, enabling distributed data management, dynamic resource scheduling and high availability. Addressing these critical needs will drive the Linux container market to even greater heights.”

Flocker is available today on GitHub under an Apache 2.0 license.

Additional Resources

“Data-focused Docker Clustering” by Luke Marsden, CEO, ClusterHQ: http://clusterhq.com/blog/data-focused-docker-clustering

“Introducing Flocker 0.1” by Rob Haswell, vice president of engineering, ClusterHQ: http://clusterhq.com/blog/introducing-flocker/

GitHub: https://github.com/ClusterHQ/flocker

Website: https://clusterhq.com

About ClusterHQ

As The Data People for Docker, ClusterHQ is the company behind the container industry’s first solution for reliably running databases, key-value stores and queues inside Docker containers. Through its innovative open-source data volume and container manager, Flocker, ClusterHQ delivers a platform for solving the significant operational challenges that come from running data-backed services inside containers. The ClusterHQ team are technical experts in storage, networking and containers who have successfully driven open source adoption in developer-led communities. The team holds seven patents related to operating container-based applications at scale.

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