We asked James Bottomley, our CTO of virtualization technology, to look into his crystal ball for 2015 as it pertains to containers. Ok, he doesn’t use a crystal ball (that we know of), but here’s what he predicts will be the top three trends in containers technology in 2015:
- 2015 will be THE year containers in the enterprise move beyond Docker. In 2014, Docker was the killer DevOps application causing the enterprise to appreciate the value of containers for application packaging and transport. 2015 will be the year raw container technology itself penetrates the enterprise, seeing a multitude of container-based applications spring up.
- Functions virtualization (the process of taking hardware or fabric functions and performing them inside virtual machines) will start to use containers instead of hypervisors because of the lighter weight and easier-to-control environment. The first exemplar will be firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS) because the Linux firewall currently can be run inside a very cut down network namespace.
- New OS subsystem virtualization will be added to the Linux kernel, supporting an enhanced range of container function. Because container function works at the OS level rather than the hardware level, new virtualizations become possible as desired virtualizations get translated from hardware to software. The first candidate for this would be network functions virtualization (NFV). In its current form, a direct hardware connection is made between the network fabric and the virtual hardware in the hypervisor. However, by virtualizing the fabric stack within the network subsystem, it should be possible to bring NFV to a much more open, approachable, and standardized format. By freeing NFV from hardware dependence, much smaller and more usable fabric namespaces will permit composition and incorporation of NFV like technology into existing applications.
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