How to orchestrate containers with Docker

Welcome to the post-hardware era, where we move containers or VMs around as needed without thinking about it. Here are some new Docker tools for the job

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Building next-generation applications is one thing. Managing and running them is another.

Perhaps the best way of thinking about this lies in the old analogy of pets vs. cows. People take extraordinary measures to keep their pets alive and healthy, in the same way admins carefully tend a high-end server with redundant everything. But on the farm, a dead cow is part of the cost of doing business -- and in today’s cloud world, where applications are designed to tolerate failure, a server that falls over is no big deal.

The role of the modern application orchestration tool is to monitor your herd of virtual servers and/or containers and make sure they’re roaming the right ranch. When one server dies, it quickly instantiates a new VM -- or even a new container. There’s no system admin intervention at all because the whole process is automated. You never know exactly which server or container (or combination thereof) is running your application.

Automated IT has been a dream for a long time, but today's tooling is finally starting to deliver on the promise. If you’re working with cloud-scale applications, especially with scale-out microservices, then such tooling is essential.

An OS for the data center

That’s where the idea of a data center operating system comes into play. Individual servers no longer matter, except as an element of compute, storage, or networking. Applications are tied to virtual machines or to containers and become the main management element.

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