The Docker open source containerized virtualization ecosystem has taken another important step forward with the introduction of Flocker from ClusterHQ, a platform that promises to make data as portable as applications by including databases and key-value stores inside Docker containers.
Like Docker, Flocker is open source, and aims to solve "the significant operational challenges that come from running data-backed services inside containers," according to ClusterHQ. It works by making it possible for developers to migrate data along with Docker applications inside the same containers.
Flocker runs on bare-metal servers as well as public and private clouds, ClusterHQ said. It's also sophisticated enough to reroute network connections when data migrates, saving developers from having to modify hard-coded network addresses or worry about slow DNS updates.
ClusterHQ hopes to use Flocker to capitalize on the explosive growth in container-based virtualization for Linux, which analyst MarketsandMarkets predicts will grow by over 32 percent each year between 2013 and 2015. "While the Linux container market is growing fast, its growth is held back by a lack of support for production-ready data services, the heart of most applications," ClusterHQ said in a statement, emphasizing the need for an enterprise-class data-migration solution for Docker.
"Just as the virtual machine (VM) market required an enormous amount of capabilities to be developed around the hypervisor in order to fully mature, the Docker market needs the kind of advanced technology that ClusterHQ is delivering today," said Luke Marsden, CEO of ClusterHQ. "Containers and Docker currently capture only the easy, data-free parts of an application. Flocker encapsulates the entire app, enabling distributed data management, dynamic resource scheduling and high availability. Addressing these critical needs will drive the Linux container market to even greater heights."