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Container IT gets boost with Docker enhancement

In this week's SN blogs, analysts discuss Docker, the real value of an industry certification and the capabilities of a new Linux project aimed at virtualized environments.

Whither Docker? Will it actually become a viable way to host distributed applications? Or, will it fall short because it can't surpass existing application management environments? Steven Hill, an analyst at Current Analysis Inc., based in Sterling, Va., writes that Docker Content Trust, which became available Aug. 11, is Docker's next step in making it ready for prime time. The new capabilities, he says, address enterprise IT's concerns about the technology's security and reliability. IBM's endorsement is another boon, Hill writes, with Big Blue building a Docker environment that can run on every IBM platform.

Hill says Docker still has a long way to go; it needs to engineer a stronger framework for security and data access, for instance, and it needs some sort of API-management layer to make it a useful ingredient for container IT. But Hill says the Docker's strategic direction -- so far -- is on the right path.

Read Hill's thoughts about Docker and what the technology might mean to enterprise IT.

New Linux project could transform virtualized management

The Enterprise Strategy Group Inc., based in Milford, Mass., examines the potential impact of the IO Visor Project (IOVP), a Linux Foundation-backed initiative that could transform how network devices communicate in a virtualized environment.

IOVP is brand new; the initiative was just announced last week and is backed by Cisco, Intel and Broadcom, among other suppliers. In a nutshell, IOVP is an I/O hypervisor engine that resides between the Linux OS and hardware. Akin to a Java virtual machine (VM), IOVP is an in-kernel VM for I/O instructions. It won't replace existing hypervisors, since its sole purpose is to support I/O, but, because it is software-defined, it could become a foundation for new generations of Linux virtualization and networking, ESG writes. IOVP consists of an engine, a set of development tools, associated operational and management apps, and I/O modules.

Linux portability could help give IOVP a potentially large footprint; "many vendors," ESG writes, could choose to examine IO Visor to determine how it might fit within their own strategies. Potential use cases encompass security, cloud building and carrier networking.

Get more information about IOVP and read what ESG has to say about the project.

Certification: What's really driving the need for that piece of paper?

PacketPushers blogger Fred Chagnon is prepping for a new certification, but he found his motivation for doing so is much different today than it was when he began his networking career in the late 1990s.

Instead of just getting a new piece of paper or the ability to add some new designation to his email signature, Chagnon says he's interested in more fundamental incentives. Among them is the opportunity to learn new things and the ability to become more self-assured.

While there's nothing wrong with seeking a certification to satisfy goals of career advancement or recognition, Chagnon writes that not everyone shares those goals. Instead, personal growth factors might be an even bigger motivator and an even better reason to snag that next endorsement.

Get Chagnon's thoughts on the value of an industry certification.

Next Steps

Is Docker right for you?

The future of network engineering

Making the case for container-based virtualization

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Are you examining the use of container IT in your organization?
Yes, we are looking at containerization, for both newly developed and legacy applications. We’ve been working on refactoring our legacy apps in our SOA environment for some time now, moving towards more microservices by pulling out functionality that makes sense to stand alone as a microservice. We’ve had some on-site training for Docker, and are currently working through some smaller POCs to assess applicability and identify issues.
I”m glad to see Docker addressing the security concerns that have been raised across the industry rather than take the stance that users should work with the security features of the supporting OS if they want better security. The move to donate the code to the OCP is another smart move, and shows that they are working towards building a sustainable container ecosystem that addresses the needs of the industry.