Mirantis Acquires Docker Enterprise Platform Business


Rackspace expands on OpenStack Magnum with Carina Containers as a Service

One persistent vision of the cloud is of “instant-on” computing. It’s one of the reasons that cloud — the ability to simply request computing resources and have them magically appear — first took off, and it’s one of the reasons that we hear so much about containers, as everyone chases this dream of being able to have something simply “work”. And containers begat Magnum, one of several ways to easily use them from within OpenStack. Now Magnum has begat Carina, a project announced by Rackspace at the OpenStack Summit in Tokyo that makes it possible to easily create a cluster on an OpenStack cloud and run containerized apps on it.

“But wait,” I hear you thinking, “are you saying that Rackspace is creating yet another Container Orchestration Engine, such as Kubernetes or Mesos?”  Actually, no.  Carina’s goal is to work with the Magnum API, which enables users to create “bays” that can use Docker Swarm, Kubernetes, or Apache Mesos to orchestrate the containers within it, rather than creating a whole new engine.

In fact, according to Magnum PTL (and Rackspace Distinguished Architect) Adrian Otto, Carina pre-dates Magnum, and “many of the contributions Rackspace made to OpenStack Magnum were based on what we learned building Carina.”

Carina works by creating a cluster in the cloud, then providing a downloadable file that enables you to easily create a local environment in which to access the cluster locally. Once you’ve gotten that far, you’re simply using native Docker tools.

One advantage of using Carina and OpenStack over simply downloading and installing your own container orchestration engine is that you have the ability to create a multi-tenant environment, and the company illustrated the point by trotting out customer Pantheon, a hosting provider that runs 1.2 million containers on Rackspace servers every day. Scott Crenshaw, Senior VP of Strategy and Product for Rackspace also introduced O’Reilly Media, which has been using the technology to provide interactive examples from their books online.

At the moment, Carina supports Docker Swarm, but when fully integrated with the Magnum API it will support any flavor supported by Magnum. For now, Carina concentrates on giving users the ability to choose whether to deploy their containers on bare metal or in a virtual machine.

The Carina service will be free during the beta period.

Rackspace also announced the availability of the first of the two 1000 node Intel Cloud For All clouds, which are available for developers to use (after a two to four week approval process).


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