Jelastic, 451 Research and Parallels held a webinar last week to talk about the latest trends, containers, Dockers, how build continuous deployment processes for microservices and applications that require a high level of stability and multi-container scalability.
Ruslan Synytsky is the CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic. With over 15 years in the IT industry, Ruslan is an expert in large-scale distributed Java applications and enterprise platforms. Before Jelastic, Ruslan led engineering teams at iQueLab, SolovatSoft, Datamesh and at the Space Agency, Ukraine.
Jay Lyman is the Research Manager, Cloud Platforms at 451 Research. Jay covers private cloud platforms, cloud management and enterprise use cases that involve trends such as cloud computing, the confluence of software development and IT operations known as DevOps, polyglot programming and open source software.
Maik Broemme is Director of Program Management responsible for Parallels Containers. He is an expert in Linux Containers focused on service provider requirements and successfully build a virtual dedicated hosting platform from scratch at one of Europeans largest service provider. He has more than 13 years experience in using and building Container technology.
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Why is there all of this renewed attention and buzz around containers when the technology has been around for years?
Jay: It’s a good question. We have seen renewed interest in Docker since 2013 and it really gained some momentum in 2014. It’s modern, it’s light weight, and I think it adds the user interface and that has helped revive a little bit more interest in this, even if containers have been around for a while, Docker benefits from being modern and having been written at the right time.
How much of the interest and use of containers centers on test and dev work versus production applications?
Jay: Another common question.The short answer is that most of this is in test and dev.
Again there are exceptions, given that we have had containerization like what Parallels provide for some time. Some of those applications and workloads are in production but the majority of this is test and dev with Docker and the newer container technology.
The other thing to mention there is that one gap center that exists are getting addressed – the right end-user itches are getting scratched. In today’s environment with today’s time line anything you can test in dev will soon rapidly be moving to production and the timeline between test and dev and production is much more fluid and much more rapid, today.
I think mostly intense in dev but we certainly see growing use in production and that’s sort of building on some existing production use of containers around active technologies like Parallels.
Mike: Well, almost 90% or more of all containers are used for production ready applications and for using virtualized or built in a virtual infrastructure. Basically they are used for integrators or companies like Jelastic – with good technology and have a benefit for a wide variety of users’ scenarios. Mainly they were fully developed for service providers to offer virtual private servers and to end-users. Over the years we have added a couple of additional features to make it more attractive for companies like Jelastic. Most of our containers are used in production ready application.
What is Jelastic’s answer to customers who are going a “do it yourself” way and implement their flavor of PaaS themselves with Docker- or CoreOS-containers, with their own orchestration, etc.?
Can we as a service provider use Jelastic as a IaaS/container platform and let customers implment their platforms on top?
Ruslan: Actually yes, its possible because Jelastic provides API, so we have API for infrastructure service and API for platform service. And if you need only infrastructure service layer, so it’s no problem to use it, I believe it’s possible to implement any additional custom logic on top of Jelastic with no need to write advanced UI interface.
From which Jelastic version are Docker containers supported?
Ruslan: From 3.1 we recently build FTM ready to manufacture build and it will be moved to production from this week, actually tomorrow I believe one of our partners will be updated to the next version, so during the next month all productions will be updated to a new version.
How is service discovery implemented (or implementable) in Jelastic?
Ruslan: This is a good question. At this moment it’s possible to publish your services to our marketplace but it requires some additional conversation with service providers. So if you are using private cloud, there is no issue. If you want to publish your service on one of our public cloud, just talk to our service providers and they can publish your service at our marketplace. In future we are going to implement built in billing so end customers will be able to sell their solutions through the marketplace of our partners.
Is there a facility for central logging and monitoring for customers in Jelastic already?
Ruslan: We provide central logging for customers’ actions and you can monitor actions of end customers. We also provide the ability to analyze exactly what customers use, what kind of resources they use, how much money they spend to build custom queries to requests and different kinds of projections on resource usage of deployments. So yes, there is a facility inside Jelastic at this moment, but its better to talk about some specific functionality, because it is quite difficult to answer in general.
Currently Jelastic already supports the most popular languages and Dockers. What do you plan next? What technology is in your nearest road map?
Ruslan: There are two main points of focus in the nearest future – first of all cloud scripting. We are going to introduce a new way to do DevOps management of multiple containers so because today we see some complexity with the current workflows. People are using Puppet and similar tools to manage infrastructure and to build continuous deployment and integration workflows, but these tools were designed for IaaS and for PaaS actually implements a big part of functionality of these tools, so we are going to introduce new technology which we call Cloud Scripting. End customers will be able to build customs scripts, custom tools on cloud events. It simplifies the Jelastic workflow.
This is one important thing, and we have very positive feedback from the creators of Java and PHP languages (our advisers).
And the second thing is that we are going to release the ability to build complex deployment workflows across different regions for hybrid cloud, because hybrid cloud becomes a very hot topic; we hear almost from each new private cloud customer about hybrid cloud scenarios. Customers want to keep private data or big data inside the company, but they want to use public clouds to extend resources for some spikes or to sell their microservices or services on public cloud marketplaces. These two main things – Cloud Scripting and Hybrid cloud will be our focus for the next half of the year.
Talking about Docker, you mentioned the ability to bind custom scripts on cloud events. Do you provide some integrated tool for such binding?
Ruslan: It concerns Cloud Scripting. Nowadays PaaS provides toy scaling, so you are forced to use some specific patterns to build your application for scaling, and it doesn’t work for many rectifications and you cannot wig some tools of scaling. And our solution is different: we would like to provide the full flexibility, e.g. you can add some hooks when resource usage is above the limits, define that limits by the end-customer – if load RAM usage is about 80%, our platform can add one more node and the end customer can be in a custom script before this node will be added and after this node is added. We provide extreme flexibility for end-customers – they can implement additional actions before or even after scaling.
At the same time, similar approach can be used when you deploy an application, e.g.: you deploy some kind of new version of an application and can trigger additional actions (to call additional APIs for example). And a similar story when cloning the environment and so on so we have a wide range of cloud events.
Concerning Integrated tools – we plan to provide a cloud ID for this Cloud Scripting and because like everything, it will be in the cloud and you don’t need to use extra additional tools for writing cloud scripting. Of course we will provide plugins for the most popular IDs as well.
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Thanks to Jay and Mike for participating in our webinar!
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