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Apr 20 2018

Docker EE 2.0 Supports Kubernetes

In the world of software development, a healthy dose of competition is usually considered the norm. Then again, too much rivalry sometimes turns out to be destructive, for example when it hurts the interoperability of related, yet distinct software products. That's particularly annoying if the two are essentially easily compatible – like Docker and Kubernetes, which are used for containerization and automated deployment and management, respectively.

Apparently, the Docker team has now come to the same conclusion, which is why the commercial edition of their software package – dubbed Docker Enterprise Edition or Docker EE for short – is set to support Kubernetes from version 2.0 onwards. The move is supposed to address the needs of users who need to manage multi-Linux, multi-OS and/or multi-cloud customer environments.

Since Docker and Kubernetes perform different, yet complementary tasks, the idea of one software package supporting the other would not normally be a 'headline-grabber.' However, the initial Docker release came with management tools of its own (Compose and Swarm) that essentially covered the same or at least similar ground as Kubernetes. Moreover, Docker is 15 months older, so the notion of seniority might have also played a part. Whatever the reason, the first installment of Docker EE kind of stalled when it came to Kubernetes support, thus creating the impression of a "technology or infrastructure (read: vendor, N. N.) lock-in" in the making – about the worst thing that can happen to an outfit rooted in the open source tradition. On the positive side, this gave Docker Inc. (the company behind the containerization platform) a chance to enhance its product and run an adequate marketing campaign.

Technically, users of Docker EE 2.0 will benefit from these features:

  • Multi-OS support – Docker will work with multiple certified infrastructure platforms, including various Linux distributions (from SUSE, Red Hat, CentOS, Ubuntu, and Oracle) as well as Windows Server
  • Multi-cloud – organizations are free to choose the underlying infrastructure, with hybrid cloud deployments across all major platforms including AWS and Azure
  • Orchestration choice – Docker EE 2.0 is the only platform that will run both Swarm and Kubernetes simultaneously on the same cluster; developers do not need to make an orchestration choice, and administrators teams can switch between orchestrators in the way that best fits company needs
  • Networking – organizations get a fully-supported Kubernetes solution with Project Calico built in
  • Storage – Docker EE 2.0 is compatible with storage and data management solutions from multiple leading vendors, including Dell EMC, HPE Nimble, Pure Storage, and NetApp as well as various software-defined storage specialists

Docker Inc. also promises that all certified containers in Docker Store will continue to work on Docker EE 2.0 certified infrastructures. Desktop clients for managing Docker installations are available for Windows and macOS along with several Linux flavors and hypervisors.

Docker EE 2.0 and the matching clients are available immediately. Costs vary according to individual subscription plans.


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