The simplest way to bring Docker containers into an IT environment is to deploy them on a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment that provides a much needed layer of manageability. On Tuesday, Engine Yard, which last April acquired Deis, the most widely used PaaS for building and deploying applications based on Docker containers, announced that it is making an instance of that PaaS environment available on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Now generally available in a commercial edition supported by Engine Yard, Gabe Monroy, creator of Deis and CTO of Engine Yard, said Deis is the only PaaS environment that is built completely using Docker containers. As such, IT organizations gain a lot more flexibility in terms of the actual elements of the PaaS environment they want to deploy. But contrast, Monroy said PaaS environment based on, for example, open source PaaS software such as Cloud Foundry are a lot more monolithic, which makes them more cumbersome and complicated to deploy.
The AWS implementation is based on Deis PRO, which provides a Web interface for faster provisioning and managing of Deis clusters. As open source software, Deis itself can be deployed on premise or in the cloud. Monroy says the AWS implementation is designed to make it a simple as possible for IT organizations to embrace Docker containers, which despite their popularity with developers can have a steep learning curve when it comes to deploying and managing them. The Deis PaaS environment includes a complete set of workflow tools that make it simpler for organizations to deploy applications much like they do on Git hub or directly from a Docker image, said Monroy.
For the most part Monroy said the biggest bang for the buck when it comes to deploying Docker containers is to make use of Deis running on physical servers. While some might argue that deploying Docker containers on a virtual machine adds additional layers of security and isolation, Monroy said a PaaS environment optimized for Docker provides isolation and security without compromising the performance of the Docker applications running on top of it.
It’s not entirely clear just yet where most Docker containers will wind up running in production environments. Engine Yard claims that there have already been just under a million copies of Deis downloaded to date, thanks mainly to a download rate of more than 1,000 instances per day. But the one thing that is for certain is that there will soon be a lot more Docker containers running in those environments than there are virtual machines.