Containers-as-a-Service and Managed Hosted Service For Cloud Operators

OpenStack Summit in Vancouver presented several intriguing software demonstrations, with the most peculiar presentation featuring an opportunity for cloud operators to use Containers-as-a-Service.

These containers as a managed hosted service are called Magnum. We are talking about multi-tenant Containers-as-a-Service that are specially designed for OpenStack, which on the other hand combines Flannel, OpenStack, Kubernetes, and Docker. The aim was to come up with a containers solution, which is able to work just like any other OpenStack service. Naturally, Magnum’s purpose isn’t to give a slightly improved container, but rather to make it possible for current container tools and technology to work with existing OpenStack services.

Magnum comes with a choice to manage and deploy containers (Container Orchestration Engines) as special arrangements referred to as the “bays.” For the time being, Magnum uses both Kubernetes and Swarm for clustering. When it comes to the requirements of the modular architecture, you can easily switch and unplug if necessary. Containers and cloud are based on a premise of service interconnection, which inevitably leads to the standardization process of required parts. This is the main reason how Magnum got its distinctive name in the cloud industry. At one point, both car and gun manufacturers simply had to evolve from time-consuming handcrafting to the more advanced assembling and standardization of parts. This is how Magnum the gun and now Magnum containers-as-a-service were born.

Nowadays, production speed is everything. Containers and standardized images have become the must have and used in the modern cloud architecture. It goes without saying that this approach is making the lives of cloud developers much easier and simpler. Some cloud experts believe that the containers “revolution” will do the same regarding improved efficiency as what the virtualization process was able to do back in the 2000s.

In order to reach the “virtualization success standards,” the containers themselves will have to solve some of the existing problems first. One of them is the so-called “environmental drift.” When it comes to complex apps, very often the deployment into the production environment simply failed to work. How can containers help fix the “environmental drift?” Well, containers help you move around smaller components, thus help you improve your overall operational efficiency. When you have to deal with hundreds of complex apps this option can be a true lifesaver.

However, it would be wrong to expect that containers can be a convenient replacement for virtualization. You can’t expect them to be used as a security barrier. Meaning, you really have to know what you’re doing when arranging them. At the moment, Magnum is quite an active and a diverse project with more than 2,000 patch sets and 100,000 code lines submitted by 20 company contributors. The main objective for the OpenStack Containers Team has always been the same and that is to ensure the flawless functionality for the cloud users.

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