Docker: Container Monitoring Differs from Monitoring Traditional Applications

10 Jan 2017 11:15am, by

In this new episode of The New Stack Makers, Docker director of ecosystem development John Willis discusses how containers change traditional practices of application and system monitoring. TNS ebook editor Benjamin Ball conducted the interview to prepare for our fifth ebook: Monitoring and Management with Docker and Containers.

In terms of monitoring, it’s important to keep in mind that containers have multiple perimeters separate it from the hosts into their own individual isolations. “A lot of the kind of newer age vendors deal with this well, but you have to recognize what’s the difference between kind of the host, what I would call the outer perimeter, and the container itself, the inner perimeter and then recognize for example, ‘What’s the CPU utilization of a container instance and what’s its aggregate for the host?’ So you get into kind of interesting things there,” said Willis.

Applying traditional monitoring practices to containerized microservices, Willis noted, can be stressful, though not without solutions. “Dave McCrory has this concept of data gravity which I’ve loved which I would say, the kind of guns, gems and steel of the new world is really kind of data gravity in containers and microservices. So in that world, there’s a lot of compute workloads where you just literally move compute to the data.”

A question on many minds is just how far Docker is going to push its own role in the monitoring ecosystem. Willis explained that Docker (as of this writing) has no plans to go head-to-head with the larger monitoring companies such as Datadog or New Relic. Instead, it is focusing on bolstering programs such as Ecosystem Technology Partner (ETP) program, focusing on producing products and services to extend Docker’s monitoring functionality through a kit of new solutions.

“People look at Docker and say, “Well, Docker, how do they work with their partners?” What a lot of people don’t see is the freedom that Solomon [Hykes] and Ben [Golub] give me and my team to work with all these partners and spend all this time on really non-revenue generating stuff, but it helps the industry. It helps the Docker ecosystem.”

Docker sponsored this podcast.

Feature image via Pixabay.

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