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IBM makes Docker containers available across clouds with C-ports

It is no news that Docker containers and its underlying concept have being hailed by the IT industry as hot property. It has drawn the attention of tech giants and pushed them to collaborate and establish standards around it. In essence, Docker containers wrap up a piece of software in a complete filesystem that contains everything it needs to run: code, runtime, system tools, system libraries - anything that can be installed on a server. This guarantees that it will always run the same, regardless of the environment it is running in. Containers are lightweight and based on open standards. This allows them to run on all major Linux distributions and Microsoft operating systems with support for every infrastructure.

Image: IBM blog

Image: IBM blog


As companies wait to lap up this technology, there arises a need to run these containers across multiple distributed infrastructure. Current efforts are still focused around deploying containers at a single site/cloud level -- for instance Kubernetes, Mesos and Marathon, Amazon's EC2 Container Service and IBM Bluemix. As this blog explains, a single-site solution cannot accommodate for cloud bursting or provide resilience against zone or datacenter outages. Also, privacy would be an issue.

IBM claims that they stepped up to the challenge and have tasted success. The company says their summer intern was able to design and implement the first platform of its kind that enables the deployment of Docker containers across multiple clouds and hybrid infrastructure. Called C-ports(pronounced seaports), it has been demonstrated to deploy containers across five clouds -- Bluemix, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, Chameleon and FutureSystems and two clusters in order to create a dynamic federation. Additionally, the blog explains, C-Ports is not tied to a specific container scheduler and can work with any local container scheduler, such as Kubernetes or Bluemix, or directly deploy containers on the given resource/cloud, thereby increasing its portability and flexibility.

While calling it a significant breakthrough, IBM says it is work in progress. They plan to extend this work to support container migration or traffic and data rerouting.


Updated Date: Aug 28, 2015 14:41 PM