Containers - the way ahead

One thing I am, for sure, is experienced (translation - I'm long in this game). I've seen a lot come and go in the IT world and it takes a lot to impress me. Docker and containers do..

I greeted virtual machines with a degree of "gee whiz", especially when it became possible to create throwaway development VMs on your desktop thanks to tools like VirtualBox and Vagrant. But, overall, I regarded tham as convenient hardware substitution and, it has to be said, just moving some problems from one place to another. I use them, of course, because the customers love the idea of not having to look after hardware. Somewhere down the line, of course, they start worrying about costs and performance.

When I found out about Docker, only a few weeks after it began, I thought "this is something really different". The nay-sayers moaned that containers had been around for "ages", which is sort of true, but misses the point. A few guys sit down an write a toolset that in the space of less than a year make Amazon, Google and Microsoft not just sit up and take notice but go "we support that!".

After playing around with it in its early stages, I gradually realised that this was something really special and the extraordinary community that has sprung up around it just underlines that. It's my view Docker is the future of "as a service" computing (especially micro-services) and that VM-based hosting will disappear fast, as the VM providers will not be able to compete on price and performance. Google has already done it - everything there is now a container, even what you think is a VM.