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Agile Computing: Article

ClusterHQ Introduces Flocker 0.1 For Docker

Industry veterans aim to make Dockerized application storage production-ready

ClusterHQ, The Data People for Docker, on Wednesday announced Flocker 0.1, a solution for running databases, key-value stores and queues inside Docker containers. An open-source volume manager, Flocker is a container management tool designed to solve the unique set of operational challenges that come from running data-backed services inside containers. Flocker version 0.1 allows developers to define their application as a set of connected Docker containers, deploy and then easily migrate them 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 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 analyst firm MarketsandMarkets forecasting that the global Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) market will grow from $1.28 billion in 2013 to $6.94 billion in 2018, a CAGR of over 32 percent. As the primary unit of deployments for PaaS, Linux containers will make up a larger and larger part of that market.

Efficient Storage for Containers
Flocker is the result of more than five years of research, development and operational experience combining resilient distributed storage with containers. Two years ago the company launched HybridCluster, an advanced container management platform based on FreeBSD Jails for the web hosting industry. The company has large scale customer deployments of HybridCluster, which have proven the resilience and scalability of the platform. This experience running containers in production on FreeBSD has enabled the company to move extremely quickly to solve the data problem for Docker and Linux.

Flocker benefits include:

  • 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 management team, technical experts in storage, networking and containers, has proven experience driving open source adoption and marketing to developers. The combined team holds seven patents related to operating container-based applications at scale.

"ClusterHQ will do for containers what vCenter did for VMs," said Luke Marsden, CEO of ClusterHQ. "Containers and PaaS currently only capture the easy, data-free parts of an application. Flocker captures the entire app, enabling distributed data management, dynamic resource scheduling and high availability. Addressing these critical needs will unlock pent up demand for containers, driving the market to even greater heights."

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

More Stories By Elizabeth White

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