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22 Mar 2017

DockerCon 2016 started in the US with a lot of announcements !

For the occasion of DockerCon, Solomon Hykes opened the conference with a talk full of announcements about the future of Docker. He presented the 4 big goals Docker is aiming for.

Goal 1 : Reinventing the programmer toolbox

The state of things is that right now, distributed applications are hard to make and to maintain. There are a lot of problems, and Docker choose to improve things following the principles of Incremental Revolution: choose one fundamental problem, solve it & repeat. They already used that to solve problems of runtime (Containers), composability of services (Docker-compose), clustering (Docker swarm)…

And their next target is networking, thus they introduced Docker Networking.It will introduce Out Of The Box support for multi-host networking, built-in micro-segmentation (creating virtual networks dynamically), and a standardized DNS management. This will all use industry standard, there will be no change needed for applications. Then, they announced Docker Plugins to tackle problems of extensibility. Plugins will be available on 4 different extensions points : network, volume, scheduler and service discovery.Plugins handling will be dynamic (no need for reboot/relaunch), multi-tenant meaning that different applications can use different plugins, and there won’t be lock-in. Integration with Mesos use plugins for exemple.

Goal 2 : Build better plumbing

Plumbing here means all the software layers on which an application is built. Exemple : NginX, Linux… Docker offers to improve the “plumbings” it uses, and try to decouple a lot of the plumbings they have from docker to allow others to use it. They announced two main projects decoupled from Docker: Notary, a tool to have trusted, cross-platform distribution. It is tools to simplify verification of integrity for downloaded software, and make sure it comes from a trusted source. One has to add a set of keys to notary, and then simply “curl | notary | sh” to verify what is downloaded. Then RunC, the whole runtime of Docker. It will be completely detached from Docker, and therefore it will be possible to use it in other projects. It actually supports features that are not implemented in Docker yet, like ARM support (still instable though).

Goal 3 : Promote Open Standards

Docker joined with CoreOS, their main concurrent to create an open standard for OS Containers : OCF. It’s a formal specification, and will be maintained by the Open Container Project, an independent organization sponsored by the Linux Fondation, with all the major players (including the rkt team). RunC, the runtime of Docker, is given to the Open Container Project as a neutral implementation of the OCF format. This Open Standard allows to make sure Docker is here to stay, with the support of all the major players of the industry and no risks of incompatible forks.

Goal 4 : Help Organizations to solve real world problem in unique ways

If you want to follow the rest of the DockerCon, a livestream is available at

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