RedHat and specifically the OpenShift team was an early adopter of Docker technology. OpenShift Online 3 (the hosted service) and OpenShift Origin (the open-source part of OpenShift) of was recently released. This week we talked to Krishnan Subramanian, Director of Strategy, OpenShift (@krishnan) on twitter and Clayton Coleman, Lead Engineer, OpenShift (@smarterclayton) on github) about why they believed in Docker so early and what makes RedHat a company philosophically aligned with the Docker project.

The OpenShift team at Redhat was an early adopter of Docker technology. OpenShift Online 3 (the hosted service) and OpenShift Origin (the open-source part of OpenShift) was recently released. This week we talked to Krishnan Subramanian and Clayton Coleman about why they believed in Docker so early and why RedHat is philosophically aligned with the Docker project.

How many people use OpenShift Origin right now?

We know of 30-40 people deploying OpenShift Origin right now but there are a lot of others that we never get to see or hear about directly.

And how many people use OpenShift Online?

There are more than 1.8 million applications running in OpenShift Online right now.

Is OpenShift Online for trial or for production?

OpenShift Online is more like Heroku. It is meant for production use as well as dev/test.

Some people claim that OpenShift isn’t mature or scalable yet. Can you comment on this?

Cisco, FICO, and Boeing have all spoken publicly about using OpenShift in production environments. If it is not mature, why are these customers using it in production environments? Those claims are rhetorical.

What is the goal of OpenShift?

The goal of OpenShift is to bring people from the old world to the new world. People who may not know about Docker or PaaS yet. We don’t try to force people to change everything about what they do up front.

What is the definition of PaaS?

Infrastructure scaling at the platform to meet the needs of applications. OpenShift is one of the very few platforms where real application scaling is available. Many other platforms are about infrastructure scaling whereas in OpenShift you can scale applications by also managing infrastructure scaling using the tools you already use.

Why did RedHat commit to Docker so early?

We used containers at based on SE Linux for a while at RedHat. Docker took the great step to separate the user space that matters to an application from the stuff that an operating system needs to run. It was obvious to me that this was a new way to solve the old problem with packages and install scripts and configuration management. Docker captures an easy-to-use way to distribute software.

How is RedHat philosophically aligned with Docker?

Open-source is in the DNA of RedHat. We are comfortable with working in any open-source project whether it be OpenStack or Docker. We can contribute and also make money.

What is GearD?

A command-line client and agent for integrating and linking Docker containers into systemd across multiple hosts.

What can GearD do?

  • Install a Docker image into systemd with network and environment configuration
  • Start, stop, and restart individual containers
  • Build, rebuild, and test Docker images using Docker Source-to-Images
  • Create private network links between containers for easy configuration
  • Stream logs, download container data and images, and monitor container status
  • Enable SSH to containers, distribute public keys, and create and manage Git repositories
  • Deploy applications directly from the CLI
  • Integrate with application orchestrators to manage hundreds or thousands of hosts and many more containers.

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is a Google project to run containerized applications at scale. Everything at Google runs inside of containers. Even their VMs run inside of containers. When we were thinking about how to address problems like scheduling in OpenShift, Kubernetes fit the philosophy we had with stateless and self-healing concepts.

How is GearD different than Kubernetes?

GearD is about operating orchestration end-points.

What is the future of Platform-as-a-Service?

The focus on PaaS is now on containers and the Docker ecosystem. People want to avoid lock-in not just for vendor-proofing but also to future-proof your applications. Easy portability is necessary to achieve that.

What’s the future of software development?

Micro-services! Docker and PaaS enable micro-service architecture.

Why use OpenShift over just pure Docker?

OpenShift does a lot of legwork that manages a lot of the new concepts behind Docker for you.

What’s next for OpenShift?

Integrate Kubernetes into OpenShift natively and help people adopt Docker easier.

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