Edge / IoT

Docker, Arm Team up to Bring Containers to the Edge

25 Apr 2019 1:38pm, by

At DockerCon 2019 next week, Docker and Arm will preview technologies that are part of their recently announced strategic partnership.

The two companies plan to work together to create a cloud-based development environment for building and delivering container-based applications to cloud, edge and IoT devices using Arm hardware.

Increasingly, data from sensors, meters and instruments are processed in the field — the edge — in nodes of 5 to 8GB increments rather than all being sent back to central data centers. Many of these applications use machine learning in data analysis. Applications running on these nodes tend to be updated frequently.

The collaboration is intended to develop an environment in which applications running on x86 also work seamlessly on Arm’s low-power hardware.

“Extending to the edge furthers our enterprise vision of providing one single platform for building and running all applications,” said David Messina, executive vice president of strategic alliances at Docker.

Creating the developer environment will be the first order of business, starting with the integration of Arm capabilities into Docker Desktop Community. It will support apps written in programming languages including C++, Python, JavaScript, Java, Ruby, Go, Rust, and PHP.

“With today’s announcement, we enable [2 million Docker Desktop developers] to instantly become Arm developers, targeting everything from an embedded endpoint to an Arm Neoverse server in the cloud, using the same PC or Mac development environment they have always used,” Arm’s Mohamed Awad wrote in a blog post.

The two companies are making Docker-based solutions available to the Arm developer ecosystem as an extension of the Arm Neoverse platform.

Docker Enterprise Engine will be available for Amazon EC2 A1 instances. AWS launched EC2 A1 instances last November, based on AWS’s Graviton processors and 64-bit Arm Neoverse cores and custom silicon that AWS developed.

The companies say these by using these instances, companies can save up to 45 percent on scale-out containerized applications on Arm with Docker’s commercial support. Many cloud native Linux applications can run unmodified, they assert, while in some cases a simple recompile may be needed to generate Arm executables.

“We have drastically simplified the development flow for those looking to realize the benefits of moving existing cloud native workloads to Neoverse servers. At the same time, we have also enabled IoT and embedded developers to leverage the portability and scalability that comes with using Docker,” Awad wrote in his post.

Further work will focus on full lifecycle management, unified development environments and scaling.

Arm has been rapidly building out its ecosystem with an eye toward making it easier for developers to build applications on its technology. It became a member of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation in February.

In December, Rancher Labs announced a partnership with Arm to provide enterprises a single way to manage Kubernetes in x86 clusters as well as their IoT deployments.

Rancher released K3s, a lightweight production-grade Kubernetes distribution designed for IoT, in February and just announced an accompanying operating system called k3OS.

Continuous delivery platform vendor Drone.io announced support for Armv7-A and Armv8-A last August to help developers working on Arm’s architecture.

At DockerCon, the demo will be at the Arm booth (#P1).The demo will show the product integration on Docker Desktop and the developer workflow for developing Arm-based containers on the desktop, running and testing those containers on the desktop, on the AWS cloud (EC2 / A1) or directly on embedded/IoT devices.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation is a sponsor of The New Stack.

Feature image via Pixabay.

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