Virtualization has rewritten the rules of computing and has been followed closely by cloud computing, all aimed at giving companies higher levels of flexibility, agility and reduced costs.
But technology never stands still and the industry is evolving beyond virtualization and cloud, to a concept called containerization. Container technology has existed for many years as part of Linux (in namespaces and cgroups, for instance) but it was only a few years ago that containers started gaining broad and rapid acceptance through the efforts of a small company named Docker.
Docker introduced a standard format for container-packaged applications based on micro-services, which simplify the process for developers to deliver highly portable applications that can run on physical, virtual or cloud platforms. We at Infoblox are already using containers in some of our product.
In 2015, Docker improved the networking capabilities, automation and management of containers. As part of this effort, Docker defined the Libnetwork project. The goal of Libnetwork is to improve networking for container communication and enable abstraction of multi-vendor network plug-ins.
This project also led to the definition of an IP address management (IPAM) plug-in driver. We used its API for our pluggable IPAM to create a driver between the Docker container specification and our IPAM capability within Infoblox. And of course, we’re contributing that code to the Docker community.
We’ve also joined two new open-source groups: the Open Container Initiative (OCI) and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). Both are member groups under the Linux Foundation. These memberships will help us influence the standards for IPAM in containers and help developers make IPAM for micro-services a simpler proposition. Similarly, we are already actively participating and contributing to OpenStack with our IPAM blueprint and plug-in driver. Containers are coming to OpenStack under the Magnum project.
When it comes to containerization, we envision this is only the beginning. In addition to easy and reliable IP addressing for containers, there is a service registration and discovery need that is very similar to the DNS capabilities offered by Infoblox. Stay tuned for how we’ll use the service registry and discovery functions to make our products better for our customers.
To learn more, you can find the source code for the driver and detailed documentation here or at the Docker Hub. For evaluation purposes, you can download an Infoblox virtual appliance here. Please refer to the Configuration Guide for installation instructions.