Docker London December

Last night I headed up to London for the December meetup of Docker London. The evening didn’t get off to a great start as I managed to cycle over a screw on the way to the station. Despite this, and the subsequent efforts of the Jubilee Line, I did just make the start in time.

The evening kicked off with Chad Metcalf from Docker demoing Tutum. It was just a slight variant of one of the demos from DockerCon so nothing really new for me here although he did talk a little about the extensions to the Compose syntax that Tutum uses. The HIGH_AVAILABILITY strategy being something that’s obviously missing from Compose/Swarm today.

Next up was Alois Mayr, a Developer Advocate at Ruxit, who did a nice job of not explicitly pushing his company’s offering but instead talked more generally about some issues experienced by a Brazillian customer of theirs that has a large deployment of Docker running on Mesos. The underlying theme was undoubtedly that, in a large microservices based architecture, you need to have a good understanding of the relationships between your services and their dependencies in order to be able to track problems back to the root cause.

Last up was an entertaining pitch by Chris Urwin, an engineering lead at HSCIC (part of the NHS) and consultant Ed Marshall. They talked about a project to move from a Microsoft VMM (and Excel spreadsheet) based setup to one using Docker and Rancher for container management. They were undoubtedly pleased with the outcomes in terms of developer productivity and the manageability of the deployed environment, not to mention reduction in cost and complexity. Although the system is not live in production yet, it is live in an environment that they share with partners that is subject to SLAs etc. Particularly striking for me was the reduction in the amount of disk space and memory that the new solution entailed.

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