Deploying Multiple Docker Containers in the Cloud with Clocker

A lot has been said about LinuX Container‘s lately. In fact, white-hot Docker, the creator of the Docker open source container project, is nearing a $40M-plus funding round. The reason containers are gaining so much popularity is they make it easier to move software applications from computer to computer and from cloud to cloud. It’s even easier than the Virtual Machine images that are so popular today. You can create, deploy, move, update and resize containers because Docker makes it easy to partition a single host into multiple containers and then makes it easy to resize each container to fit the compute needs of your application. And Docker open sourced their container project making it appealing to a wide range of customers and vendors who want to use containers on-premise and in the public cloud.

As you can imagine, this will have a significant impact on the Virtual Machine image vendors, namely VMware. But it doesn’t stop there. By embracing containers as the new unit of deployment for cloud-based applications, the idea of being locked into a Virtual Machine format like an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is no longer a problem. Any cloud that embraces Docker-based containers can make a huge catalog of cloud-based applications immediately available to their customers, thus removing one of Amazon EC2’s greatest advantages … locked-in machine images. And Docker can run in the Public Cloud on Amazon EC2, Google and Microsoft Azure as well as native on Linux as well as inside KVM, VMware or Hyper-V hosts. As we speak, 1000’s of Virtual Machines images are converting from VMware or Amazon’s image format to Docker’s light weight container images.

This is well and good if your application can run in multiple containers on a single host. But most web scale and enterprise applications require multiple hosts for resilience, fault tolerance and application scaling … not to mention simplicity. As you can imagine, managing IP Addresses is no simple task either. And this new container complexity is creating great demand for deployment tools that can setup and configure Docker-compatible clouds and applications. One such tool is Clocker, an Apache Brooklyn-based project, created by CloudSoft.

Clocker helps you turn any public or private cloud into a one capable of provisioning applications across multiple Docker server hosts, each with multiple docker containers. Not only does Clocker automate the provisioning, but it places the containers intelligently within the hosts to provide resilience, fault tolerance, easy scaling, maximum resource utilization of hosts and maximum application performance.

docker-in-the-cloud-slidesTo automate the deployment of your application, you need a script, manifest or some description of the application resources to be deployed into the containers. With Clocker, you can use a Dockerfile or an existing Brooklyn/CAMP blueprints. If you use Brooklyn/CAMP blueprints, you can add specific Docker customizations to take advantage of special Clocker features like specifying affinity rules to help place the containers intelligently. 

There is something special about containers that makes it seem natural for the cloud. Docker, the company, has demonstrated how to bring containers into the mainstream in a way that is capturing the imagination of many. I’m sure we will see many other innovative ways to use Docker to improve cloud usage. Right now, the land grab opportunity is to be the first to deploy Docker containers. Apache Brooklyn-based Clocker uses innovation and open source to make the deployment of multi-container applications easy too.

To find out more about Clocker, read CLOCKER – CREATING A DOCKER CLOUD WITH APACHE BROOKLYN or join the CloudSoft crew today online to see how to deploy Applications using Docker containers on OpenStack.  


Looking for peace in Gaza on Google Image Search

I’m not religious, but I am human, so I need inspiration on a daily basis like anyone else. People are often a great sources of inspiration for me. That’s why I especially like to get out of the house and work from a cafe on most days. Facebook and Twitter are ok, but there are many other ways to be inspired. Try searching Google Images for “graffiti” plus any word. I’ll bet it will put a smile on your face. Or search for Indie music on Bandcamp. You can’t help but be inspired by the creative expressions people share.

Today, after more bad news from the middle east, I decided to search for inspiration for peace. First I turned to the same old stand bys such as The Onion, Twitter and Facebook. Those didn’t turn out so well, though I did have an extraordinary discussion with a friend of a friend on Facebook which led to some insights. But eventually I ended up on Google Images Search.

If you haven’t tried Google Images Search, you really must give it a shot. There are A LOT of images there. It’s very useful when looking for company logos or photos of someone from past events. But this time I was on a more sophisticated mission.

I first started by combining the search terms “peace” and “Hamas” … and then “peace” and “IDF“, but the images weren’t very peaceful. In fact they were mostly images of guns and violence. I suppose I should have expected that.

peace idf peace hamas

Not deterred, I decided to try “peace” with “israeli” and then “peace” with “palestinian“. This time I found very different results. Most were drawings of doves, hands and images of hope mixed in with some less-than-helpful political cartoons. But overall, this was an encouraging sign. It supports the belief that we need to give the people of both areas a chance for peace since images that represent them seem more interested in a peaceful resolution than Hamas or the IDF.

palestine peaceisraeli peacejewish palestinian peace

But the most interesting search result was when I replaced “peace” with “graffiti” and searched for graffiti with “israeli” and then again with “palestinian“. I found inspiring, yet confusing results which indicates to me that the simple drawings above do not express the full range of issues and emotions. There are many complex issues in this conflict which take hours or even days to begin to understand. If so, perhaps graffiti drawings can help us see differently. Or perhaps they can help us get more creative in our efforts for peace. Or maybe not. Either way, once again, my human friends (and Google Images) have provided me the inspiration I needed to get through the day.


For more search examples, use Google Images to search for the word graffiti and any other word.

Helion: HP’s OpenStack Distro – Download Available

Helion is born!

It’s been 2 years since HP announce it would launch a public cloud based on OpenStack ™. Their public cloud (now called HP Helion Public Cloud) went GA in late 2012. Since then, HP has run its public cloud on multiple iterations of OpenStack, gaining a ton of operational know-how. Today HP announced its first OpenStack distro called HP Helion OpenStack Community Edition. The Community Edition is a pure OpenStack distribution that has been been wrapped in an HP installer to make it easy for you to download & install.  This announcement is great news for anyone looking to try the latest version of OpenStack (the current version is based on Icehouse, the 9th OpenStack release). But don’t expect to run an enterprise grade cloud on it. That option will come later when HP releases its commercial edition of Helion.

So what can you do with the Community Edition? The Community Edition is free to download and use. So it’s great for education, proof of concepts, dev and test, and relatively small production workloads. And it is continuously updated and tested by HP on 30 nodes. Anyone using this free distro will get tested updates every six weeks or so. And if you buy support, HP will help you manage those updates. Beyond that, if you need to run a large production cloud, HP recommends you use its enhanced commercial edition which will target global enterprises and service providers when it is released.

Tomorrow at noon (12pm Pacific time), I will be participating in an online chat with Sriram (the Cloud Don) and some folks from HP. Please join us as we discuss Helion, the first OpenStack distribution by HP for its customers and everyone else in the open source community. And if you feel like trying OpenStack, a freshly baked version of Helion is waiting for you to download right here!




CloudCamp Social Good Hackathon

Margaret Dawson, a long time CloudCamp supporter, brought me into HP Cloud where I’ve been consulting for 6 months. My first task was to find the best way for HP Public Cloud to engage with developers. We all agreed a hackathon would fit HP’s interest in engaging directly with developers and innovators. Intel joined as a sponsor and will be showing off their HTML5 tools. Other partners such as ActiveState & SendGrid will be sharing their tools & APIs as well. More importantly, the theme we chose is “Social Good Hackathon” which has created an atmosphere of working together and is turning out to be the best Hackathon theme ever!

The Hackathon begins at 7pm at the Impact Hub SF. We couldn’t have come this far without HP, Intel & the folks at BeMyApp who have been inspiring groups all over the SF Bay Area and beyond. Some participants are flying up from LA. There are a whole bunch of social innovators who will be inspiring developers & designers with their passion. And local CloudCamp peeps will be helping participants get their apps ready to deploy in the Cloud. You can find out more at It’s about to get busy, so I’ll keep this short. But I’ll post more as the weekend proceeds.

PS. A special shout out to Janette Hausler & Karen Louie who have poured themselves into preparing for this event. Let the fun begin!

Developerweek Hackathon this Saturday

The DeveloperWeek Hackathon is this Friday-Saturday-Sunday. What is it is you ask? it’s a 43-hour app-building contest and the official kick-off of DeveloperWeek 2013. 

The purpose of the hackathon is to give developers, designers, and entrepreneurs the chance to pitch app ideas – form teams – build a prototype of their app – and present to our hackathon judges for a chance to be one of the top 5 hackathon winners who get “incubated” during DeveloperWeek.
The judging is from 11:30am – 12:30pm on Sunday. Here’s the rest of the schedule:
As for the hackathon rules
Developers can build any app they want – however they get ‘extra points’ from the judges if their app integrates an external API. That can be anything from google maps or twitter OAuth to one of our sponsor’s API’s!

Here are the rest of the hackathon rules:
  1. You can prepare wireframes, outlines, or notes but you cannot start any of your design or development until Friday February 1st at 6 PM! 
  2. Teams must consist of at least 1 person but at max 5 people 
  3. Your team and your app will be judged based on 3 criteria: 
    1) Are you solving a real problem in an interesting way? 
    2) How well did you present? 
    3) How much progress did you make on your app? 
  4. If you build using a sponsor’s technology then you are also eligible for the sponsor prize! The sponsor prizes are listed here:
The event is sold out, but I may be able to get passes for a few deserving developers. Let me know!

My new hero is Sixto Rodriguez

My new hero is Sixto Rodriguez, a mythical rock legend from the 70’s. Haven’t heard of him? No one has … until now. Do yourself a favor. Watch the movie “Searching for Sugar Man“. It has one of the highest user AND critic ratings I’ve ever seen for a movie.  … SPOILER ALERT!! DO NOT WATCH THE PREVIEWS. They include a spoiler which will take away some of the fun.

Here’s a quote from the movie … “That sort of thing does not happen in a rational universe. It is against the rules of god and nature” -Rian Malan about “Sugar Man”

Peace in the Middle East … How do you Negotiate with Insanity?

Not sure what to think about the recurring conflict between Israel and Hamas? Join the club. I have watched this conflict with concern for at least 13 years. I remember waking up in a cold sweat in a hotel bed one morning in 2002, stressed out from a nightmare of suicide bombings in Tel Aviv. Both sides are clearly to blame in their own way. But repeating the cycle of insanity is what upsets me.

The Cycle of Insanity:

  1. Outsiders (Iran?) pay Hamas to fire missiles at Israel knowing full well that the Israeli military will respond with disproportionate force killing innocent Palestinians.
  2. When fired upon, the Israelis receive sympathy and funding from the West (mainly the US).
  3. Israelis fire back at Palestinians killing many, which increases support and funding for Hamas who repeats Step 1.

They say … “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results”. How do you negotiate with insanity? My opinion? This insanity will continue until it is no longer profitable for Hamas and the Israel military to fight.