Container Tools and Resources
Containers technology has changed the way applications are delivered in an IT environment.
Making applications scalable, portable and distributed, containers showed/paved the path to effective application delivery cycle.
A container environment offers the scalability that would need thousands of Virtual Machines (VM) support in a private/public cloud environment.
Because of these advantages, container services are much talked about in the IT industry as an effective means to frequent application release and business continuity.
Container ecosystem includes a wide variety of tools depending on requirement. Here is where the real challenge arises in choosing from the large set of choices that the container tools market offers.
1) Container Tools, By Runtimes
Different container runtime management tools under this category include:
|Docker||This is the first major open-source container tool that quickly emerged to become a standard. As the largest container content library, Docker contains more than 100,000 container images from major software vendors, open-source projects and related communities.|
|Docker Enterprise||This is not just a feature extension to Docker. It adds to Docker’s abilities to ensure commercial support. It’s an end-to-end platform for building, sharing and running container applications.|
|CRI-O||Container Runtime Interface (CRI), popularly known as the lightweight runtime, optimized for Kubernetes. One can pull any image from any compliant registry and run any
OCI-compliant registry using this tool.
|rkt||Application container engine for modern cloud-native environments. The core executing unit of this tool is Pod, a collection of applications executing in a shared context, is the core execution unit of rkt. These pods share similarity with the Kubernetes orchestration system.|
|Containerd||An industry-standard container monitoring tool for container runtime that manages the container lifecycle of a host system. Its service extends from managing image transfer and storage to execution and monitoring at the low-level storage, extended to network attachments and beyond.|
|Microsoft Containers||Termed as an alternative to Linux and compatible to Windows containers, this tool runs in true VM unlike Kubernetes that works in cluster management.|
2) Container Tools, By Cluster Management and Deployment
Wide variety of container tools under this category are:
|Kubernetes||Most popular open-source cluster manager originally developed by Google, and is also supported by AWS, Google Cloud Engine (GCE) and Azure Container Service (ACS). Known for its portable nature and ability to avoid vendor lock-in instances.|
|Istio and Envoy||Open-source service mesh technologies with a keen eye on security and observability features. Envoy is the first service mesh for Kubernetes, while Istio works on top of it supporting in addition of plugins, dashboards and other extensions. These tools can encrypt traffic inside a cluster.|
|Apache Mesos||Known for abstracting computing resources, this tool can balance both Docker and rkt images within the same cluster. DC/OS, a platform built on Mesos acts as a data center operating system.|
|Docker Swarm||This is Docker’s free product for cluster management, with functions scaling from the command line to merging with Docker 1.12 and further. Swarm doesn’t support autoscaling or load balancing natively, but third-party extensions can make this possible.|
|Docker Datacenter||More than a commercial alternative to Kubernetes, this tool can containerize your entire data center. Supports Docker’s free open-source products: Docker and Swarm. Can work with Docker Enterprise and also covers load balancing that Swarm misses.|
3) Container Tools, By Orchestration
Popular Container Orchestration tools include:
|Amazon ECS||Supports Docker container; Helps run applications on the managed cluster of Amazon EC2 instances.|
|Azure Container Service (ACS)||This tool allows creation of VM clusters that can act as container hosts along with master machines used to manage application containers.|
|Cloud Foundry’s Diego||This container management system brings together scheduler, runner and health manager.|
|CoreOs Fleet||A container management tool that allows deployment of Docker containers on hosts, in a cluster and across its distribute services.|
|Docker Swarm||This tool facilitates native clustering functionality for Docker containers. Thus, multiple Docker engines can be made into a single, virtual Docker engine.|
|Google Container Engine (GCE)||Developed on Kubernetes, this tool helps you execute Docker containers on the Google Cloud Platform. Besides scheduling containers into the cluster, it also manages them in line with user-defined requirements.|
|Kubernetes||An orchestration system for Docker containers that schedules and manages workloads as per user-specific parameters.|
|Mesosphere Marathon||A container orchestration framework for Apache Mesos, designed to launch applications with longer timeframes. This tool provides key features for running applications in a clustered environment.|
4) Container Tools, By Storage
Most popular Storage Container platforms include:
|BlockBridge||An elastic storage platform known for storage container services using Docker, supporting Kubernetes, OpenStack and software-derived security storage.|
|Libstorage||A system that offers a code library to provide free and open container storage.|
|Docker Plugins||Docker Inc. provides free download of support storage plugins created by different platforms such as EMC, NetApp and others.|
5) Container Tools, By Security
The popular container security tools include:
|Twistlock||Twistlock’s vulnerability scanner addresses the issues that can arise out of outdated or unpatched software through an automated audit against a database of known threats.|
|Aqua Security||Aqua Security performs creation, monitoring and enforcement of container policies, alongside facilitating Continuous Integration (CI), security checks on every build.|
|StackRox||As a Kubernetes cluster discovery service provider, this platform performs cluster examinations to ensure if the running containers are in line with the organization’s security policies. These policies can further be documented and automatically evaluated in code.|
|Aporeto||Platform that encrypts workloads between containers to ensure authentication and authorization. It allows you to define security policies programmatically.|
6) Container Resources, Specific To Operating System
This list of OS-specific container-optimized builds includes:
|AlpineLinux||This comes into picture when a docker image is created and OS is not specified.|
|RancherOS||This system image contains only Linux Kernel and Docker itself; eliminates system and service management system built into most Linux versions. Instead, it starts Docker Daemon itself as init, or bootstrap, system.|
|CoreOS Container Linux||Built to run Linux containers, this platform comes with automatic updates. Here, OS update themselves without the any additional involvement.|
|Ubuntu Core||Ubuntu is the most common OS for containers. Within the Ubuntu distribution lies Core, a small and secure release tailored for IoT and containers.|
|Red Hat Atomic Host||Organizations using Red Hat Enterprise will require this OS resource. This helps you run Linux containers in minimal version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.|
|Microsoft Nano Server||Designed to run independently as a container, this is a small command-line OS that brings native container capabilities to Windows Server.|
|VMware Photon||Larger container OS designed to carry out operations with VMware’s vSphere virtualization products.|
Containerization Tools: Market Trends
Going by the 2019 State of Cloud report, the demand for containers technology is skyrocketing. Expanding the use of container services remains one of the top priorities for many enterprises in the survey.
- Docker Containers report a rise in adoption rate from 49 percent in 2018 to 57 percent in 2019.
- Kubernetes, as a container orchestration tool that leverages Docker, also shows a rise in adoption from 27 percent to 48 percent.
- Docker dominates container tools adoption market at the enterprise level with 66 percent adoption, followed by 60 percent using Kubernetes.
- AWS Container Services (ECS/EKS) stands next with 44 percent adoption, followed by Azure Containers (28 percent) and Google Container Engine (15 percent), respectively.
Confused and worried about the long list of container tools and resources. Don’t worry!