CI/CD / Containers / Kubernetes

Zokets Wants to Make Container Deployment Push-Button Easy

20 Jul 2016 8:28am, by

Developers who want to run their applications in containers but don’t want to manage infrastructure just got another option with Zokets, a newly-released container-centric delivery platform.

Created by industry veterans from Cisco, Juniper, NetScreen, MobileIron and Brocade, the platform supports deployment of containerized applications on public or private clouds.

“With the Zokets platform, launching container-native applications is as easy as clicking a few buttons,” said Johan Land, CEO of Leet.cc, an early Zoket user that offers cloud-hosted servers for the Minecraft gaming community.

While continuous integration/continuous delivery solutions are aimed at streamlining developer workflow, “we do the delivery part of it,” explains Prakash Nedunuri, Zokets vice president of products. The company, founded last year, is based in Santa Clara, Calif.

Zokets provides:

  • A self-service drag-and-drop model to define and compose container-native apps.
  • Seamless deployment of container-native apps across public and private clouds.
  • Automated scaling and resiliency.
  • A security framework to define and enforce policies and access across apps, clusters and teams.

“We let the developer define their applications; then they can hand it off to the ops team and run it seamlessly in a staging or production environment. All they care about is what is the application? What are its attributes? And that’s pretty much it. Zokets takes care of the storage, the compute, and the networking pieces of it,” Nedunuri said.

Say an e-commerce small or medium business wants to put up a website, he explains.

In addition to displaying what you want to sell, you also need a shopping cart. You need the shopping cart business logic to be programmed and defined as code. So that’s one container. Then you also need a back-end database that can be another container. So these two make up a single application instance.

When you put them in a production environment, they need to scale up and down with the sales cycle.

“That’s a problem that’s been solved with orchestration tools on any cluster, but there’s no way to really provide that holistic way to scale at the container level,” he says.

If you need to scale up your database from one container instance to two, the platform takes care of that seamlessly, because it can track metrics to determine that.

“People can do [all this now], they just have to write a bunch of scripts to do it. Then if they want to move the application from one environment to another, it’s a totally different ballgame. There are too many pieces, too many considerations – you also need to take care of the network, the storage.”

You also can apply IT governance policies based on the application or environment.

Although this sounds vaguely similar to governance capabilities of Calm.io, which is focused on automating development, provisioning and deployment of applications, Nedunuri said they’re different.

Calm’s looking at governance regarding cost control, permissions and business policies, he says. Meanwhile, Zokets’ governance would be rules such as all finance apps should be deployed on hosts in North America or that all the containers deployed in production environments should be allocated 1GB of memory.

Zokets offers automated recovery ensures “if a container goes down for any reason and comes back up, its stateful nature is maintained so that it is not lost,” Nedunuri said.

And its security features provide network segregation as well as application-level segregation. In what it calls App Store, teams, private or public, can collaborate.

He pointed to Rancher, which rolled out its Docker management platform in March, as the company’s closest competitor.

Zokets can run on AWS or Azure or private clouds. It’s looking to add other such as Google Compute in the future.

It’s being offered in controlled availability, which Nedunuri describes as a step beyond beta.

“The beta has been working out well for me,” said DevOps consultant Garland Kan.

“I am a dev, and I really don’t want to run the infrastructure. This is making it easy for me to deploy my private containers.

“They use standard Docker Compose YAML files to deploy my containers.  So basically I develop and then create a Docker Compose file locally on my computer and test it out to make sure it works like I expect it to.  Then I go into Zokets’ web UI and upload this file to it, and it starts it up for me.  It fires up, and I can get a public IP for it where I can reach my API via the Internet.”

Feature Image: “Hit any button to continue” by Sten Dueland, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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