Docker looks to the longer term with Unikernel Systems buy

Docker is looking to the longer term and for more ways to undress application dependencies with its latest acquisition, The popular container startup in the week acquired Unikernel Systems, a Cambridge, U.K.-based company that has been one among the leaders in developing unikernel technologies. this is often an emerging space that would simplify deployments within the cloud and with the Internet of Things. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. The idea behind unikernels is to get rid of the surplus baggage bundled with an OS , information technology training stripping it right down to only those parts essential to a selected application. Doing so can streamline an application from many gigabytes to megabytes -- and boot in milliseconds. The tradeoff in runtime flexibility translates to raised usage and fewer surface areas for security vulnerability.

Coinciding with Docker's growth has been a proliferation of various lightweight operating systems, data center operating systems and container-specific operating systems. Unikernels are just another example of the rapidly evolving marketplace for modern applications, and therefore the Docker-Unikernel deal could help Docker better support the microservices that are gaining momentum, said Jay Lyman, an analyst at 451 Research. Unikernels are an honest match for microservices," Lyman said. visible technologies "You're better ready to isolate the appliance and therefore the OS component and match them up most effectively."

Behind Unikernel Systems are a number of the pioneers of Xen, the open-source hypervisor project that's central to the bulk of public cloud deployments. technology insurance The founders also are a part of existing unikernel and unikernel-related software initiatives, including, MirageOS, the Rumprun unikernel, the Irmin distributed database, also because of the Jitsu just-in-time deployment system. The push for unikernels has come from research settings and academia; the technology remains very rough around the edges. Those using unikernels in production do so in very limited, specialized cases that need extensive computing skills to create and operate properly, said Fintan Ryan, an analyst at RedMonk in Portland, Maine.

"I said last year that 2017 is as early as we're getting to see unikernels in any quite significant usage," Ryan said. "I'd still stand by that. I feel it's quite a bit away." Unikernels can touch and target a good range of quicker deployments, from the hypervisor to low-level devices, and therefore the addition of Unikernel Systems expands Docker's toolchain for common development software, Ryan said. that has microservices within the short-term, but a more interesting potential use is around connected devices. Docker, Unikernel similarities There are parallels between Docker and Unikernel Systems. Both focused on older, lightweight technology utilized in a very limited capacity due to the complexity around it. Docker took off by making it easier to package, run and deploy containers. Unikernel Systems is trying to try to an equivalent thing by making its underlying technology more accessible to developers.

Docker has made a variety of acquisitions over the past year, and this one echoes a trend of bringing in smaller companies for its team and technology, instead of new customers. Instead, this Docker-Unikernel Systems deal represents more of a long-term play to create and integrate both technologies for a broader continuum of uses. It's all about cutting away belongings you don't need and that is considered in line with what containers are about," Lyman said This deal also may reframe the talk about unikernels supplanting containers into a narrative about how the 2 could help one another and lend themselves to microservices.
 With [Docker's] growth and funding I would not be surprised to ascertain more [acquisitions]," Lyman said. "There are many areas for them to expand on the IT admin side, developer side, networking, data services, and software as a service."

PaaS, MBaaS, Spark spur 2016 application development trendsMobile device use and therefore the Internet of Things still rock IT, forcing changes to developers' toolboxes as application development trends evolve to stay up. Among the results are expanding the utilization of platform as a service to hurry development, mobile backend as a service to link devices with server-based transaction processing and Apache Spark for cluster-based processing of huge data streams.

The explosion within the use of smart devices -- phones, tablets, watches and fitness monitors -- is that the primary driver within the changing application development landscape. How prevalent is that the reliance on these devices? consistent with Gartner's Predicts 2016 report, by 2018, the research firm expects that buyers in mature markets will increase -- instead of consolidating -- their device portfolio, leading to the utilization of quite three personal devices per person. A majority of users will, for the primary time, address a mobile device for all of their online activities -- essential avoidance from desktop technology. PaaS proliferation

In the rush to hurry applications or products to plug, the event process increasingly runs round the clock, using developers scattered around the globe who work collaboratively, said longtime cloud consultant Judith Hurwitz, president of Hurwitz & Associates in Needham, Mass. As such, she said she believes the trend toward platform as a service (PaaS), which simplifies the collaborative sharing of ASCII text file and testing, will become increasingly crucial. "Collaborative development isn't a replacement concept. But with PaaS, companies are ready to speed the method and obtain products deployed faster," she said.

David McCrory, CTO at Basho Technologies -- maker of the open-source Riak database -- agreed that PaaS will help developers speed development and deployment, but added that PaaS is simply one component within the larger, overall development environment. "The trend has an integrated workflow from starting to end; from a cloud-based [integrated development environment] where you code it, to an ASCII text file repository like GitHub, to automated test and deploy," he said.

McCrory also said among application development trends are going to be PaaS offerings that adopt a narrow focus, tailored for specific industries. He expects to ascertain specialized PaaS products for vertical industries that are heavily regulated, or that has got to affect strict compliance policies typified by healthcare, financial services and automotive. during a more general sense, this is often already happening -- most notably with Salesforce's Thunder Internet of Things (IoT) Cloud and Amazon Web Services' IoT. Developers who master these areas of specialization are likely to possess secure futures, McCrory said.

In its April 2015 report, Cool Vendors in Specialized PaaS, Gartner identified three PaaS providers that have already narrowed their focus: PubNub, which focuses on APIs and real-time communications for IoT and mobile computing; Pusher, for delivery of curated content; and Restlet, for API lifecycle management. Mobile backend as a service Along with the explosion in mobile device headcount and usage, among newer application development trends gaining momentum is a mobile backend as a service, or MBaaS, consistent with Michael Swindell, vice chairman of product strategy at Embarcadero Technologies, a maker of development tools in Austin, Texas. In its March 2015 report, Market Guide for Cloud Mobile Back-End Services, Gartner noted that "a clear separation is emerging between user-facing mobile apps and therefore the services that deliver much of the access to the info and services required to offer the apps the functionality they have ."

MBaaS simplifies linking mobile apps with back-end data sources and other services, and is taking center stage as large, difficult-to-maintain, monolithic applications become small, modular building blocks, Swindell said. "Developers once created a whole app from client to the back-end database. But, as new mobile platforms inherit existence -- we've moved on from tablets to wearables -- developers must think during a modular fashion, so their apps can continually evolve," Swindell said. The MBaaS products he cited include Facebook's Parse, Kinvey, App42, PayPal's StackMob, Red Hat's FeedHenry and AnyPresence.

Ultimately, there's a shift toward architectures where little or no configuration is completed once the compute units -- now typically containers -- are deployed. Docker has championed this style but characterized it as a fast-evolving space, with big vendors stepping into the act, said Al Hilwa, program director of software development research at IDC. "That space is exciting and warmer than ever," he said. "At stake is that the way forward for application development and software architectures." Spark up, MapReduce down A third application development trend is that the rapid rise in popularity of Apache Spark for cluster and stream processing of huge data volumes. Spark's swift growth appears to be coming at the expense of the MapReduce component of the Apache Hadoop software framework. In its December 2015 survey of three,100 IT professionals -- 59% of whom are developers -- Typesafe, a San Francisco-based maker of development tools, noted that 22% of respondents are actively working with Spark. Cloud outage audit update: The challenges with uptime

A cloud outage gets many headlines, but the truth of how it impacts customers is far more nuanced. Users increasingly are finding ways to urge around outages that occur with their providers -- or a minimum of coming to terms with the truth that no public cloud is going to be on the brink of 100% available without some work. Meanwhile, potential customers remain keen to match vendors' uptime consistency despite the restrictions of publicly available data. CloudHarmony, owned by analyst firm Gartner, is one of the more prominent sites to trace uptime among public cloud vendors. It uses an easy, nonperformance-related methodology to trace vendor availability across regions by provisioning services with providers in four categories: infrastructure as a service, compute and storage, content delivery network and name system.

The fairest comparison among the platforms CloudHarmony tracks is uptime percentage because, over a full year, outage totals include care windows, said Jason Read, CloudHarmony founder. Some vendors even have many more regions than others, meaning a provider like Amazon could have more outage time collectively, but customers would see better overall availability because the downtime is spread across data centers. Generally, top vendors saw better uptimes in 2015 compared with 2014. Microsoft garnered the most important improvement due in large part to not repeating the huge late-year outage that skewed leads to 2014. Azure Virtual Machines uptime improved from 99.9339% to 99.9937%, consistent with CloudHarmony. [Cloud vendors] are continually learning from their mistakes, and over time, their services improve," Read said.

Among the most important public cloud vendors, Amazon had the simplest uptime percentage for computing at 99.9985% with Elastic Compute Cloud, while CenturyLink had the worst at 99.9647%, consistent with CloudHarmony. Google Cloud Storage had the simplest storage uptime at 99.9998%. Still, Read is quick to notice that the CloudHarmony data should not be viewed as a holistic view of cloud uptime, but rather a "measurement of network availability from the surface ." Not all services are tracked, so some outages, like the cascading AWS database as a service event in September, either doesn't register or show less of an impression than what users observed. [The] cloud may be a very complex, intricate set of services that ought to be working together in various ways," Read explained. "It's just impossible to represent availability for all the infinite possible ways you would possibly be using the cloud."

Some vendors underreport outages, while others, like CenturyLink, offer an incredible amount of knowledge and push transparency even with the smaller outages that customers won't notice, Read said. Sometimes, outages aren't the fault of the cloud provider. the foremost severe, frequent and underreported outages are network-related, he added. Uptime for Google Compute Engine actually fell slightly in 2015, from 99.9859% to 99.9796%, consistent with CloudHarmony. While Google didn't provide specific figures, company officials claimed they achieved considerable reliability improvements in 2015, consistent with internal metrics. Tracking cloud uptime is but one measurement of the complexity of the network, compute and storage all working properly, said Ben Treynor Sloss, vice chairman of engineering at Google. Customers might be using 20 instances at any given time, and one among those could have a maintenance issue without impacting the general performance of the appliance. If that lagging instance is that the one service being tracked, unavailability would be over-reported at the server level and availability underreported at the system level.