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Project Orca Presages Docker Management

By Larry Gordon

To address a key issue in enterprise adoption of containers, Docker Inc. this week shared a “concept demo” of Project Orca, a console for managing Docker containers. Docker exec Evan Hazlett showed integrated tooling for all the “plumbing” of applications aimed to answer a key question coming from IT Operations: “How should I manage Docker containers in production?”  

Hazlett showed how Project Orca will be the Docker way to tie all the pieces together with both a developer view and an Ops view into containers, hosts, clusters, volumes, processes and ports.  This early version showed in a single view of Docker Engine, Swarm, Networking, GUI and Docker Compose plus additional management tools. Project Orca intends to provide role-based access control and the security insight necessary to manage and troubleshoot Dockerized applications across distributed environments.   

An unspoken aim was to help developers and Ops avoid stomping on each other, and Orca could be a major step toward enterprise readiness for Docker.  We are keenly interested to follow progress on Orca.

Hazlett spoke during DockerCon’s second-day keynote session, where a series of Docker executives and partners outlined progress toward addressing requirements for enterprise readiness while demonstrating market momentum.  The enterprise-readiness elements included cross-host and networking issues, security and, for IT operations workers, management and troubleshooting.  

To demonstrate market momentum, the company described how large customers are adopting Docker, how it’s working with its largest partners and lessons learned by early adopters

Marianna Tessel, Docker’s SVP of engineering led the keynote by showcasing Docker’s engineering horsepower and talking about how Docker will make life better for software developers. At Focus on Docker, we already believe that developers love Docker and that Docker understands developers.   

In our coverage, we will leave the technical details to others and focus more on how Dockerized apps are accepted by the business and operations sides of enterprises, the business benefits and how vendors will create the tools that enterprises need to manage containerized applications in distributed environments.  

Scott Johnson, Docker’s SVP of product, announced the general availability of Docker Trusted Registry, an on-premise version of online Docker Hub Registry. The new Docker Trusted Registry (DTR) serves an on-premises registry for Docker container images to provide a behind-the-firewall option for storing and sharing Docker images. DTR includes LDAP and Active Directory integration with existing authentication systems. (See Docker press release for full details.)

Johnson also announced a $150 starter package for 10 Docker engines, which the company hopes will stimulate the appetite of enterprises to consume more Docker. These solutions are immediately available directly from Docker as well as Amazon Web Services, IBM and Microsoft, with subscriptions starting at $150 per month.

Nirmal Mehta of Booz Allen Hamilton described how it is implementing Docker for the U.S. government General Services Agency to revamp its highly siloed IT systems so that the business value of each can be more easily improved and more efficiently delivered. 

Mehta and speakers from Microsoft and IBM described how customers can utilize Docker as they re-architect monolithic legacy environments towards a distributed-application future.  They also discussed how Docker adoption has been a developers-up approach, not from the top down, how open source is a key driver of this transition, how open source will coexist with commercial software and the increasing importance of Microservices.