Making Virtual Machines and Containers Coexist... Nicely

Episode 3 · July 6th, 2016 · 9 mins 21 secs

About this Episode

In May 2015, analysts at Gartner rejected OpenStack as a viable platform, for reasons which boil down to its being disruptive. Not quite a year later, analysts at Gartner appeared on stage at OpenStack Summit in Austin, Texas, to embrace OpenStack as a viable platform, for reasons which boil down to its being disruptive. It sounded a little two-faced, as though the analysts group were presenting both a negative and a positive view of a cause-and-effect relationship simultaneously.

But when Gartner analyst Donna Scott showed up last April to make peace with OpenStack, what she said outright struck many attendees as startling. She offered bimodal IT to IT professionals as a metaphorical tool, quite literally to give their business managers the perception that the IT department was moving at warp speed, when not everything actually is.

Gartner and OpenStack have kissed and made up. And in a clear and sharp clarification of the emerging battle lines, two weeks ago at DockerCon in Seattle, Docker CEO Ben Golub told attendees that Gartner will not be invited to any of his parties soon.

“The data is also clear,” Golub explained, “that as people are adopting Docker, it’s no longer simply for next-generation, greenfield microservices applications. While clearly the top use cases are in areas like that… one of the most common use cases for Docker is migrating legacy apps to microservices. And an equally common use case is containerizing legacy apps. You might say, ‘Containerizing a legacy app? That’s heresy!’ But in fact, there are really good reasons to take a legacy app, Docker-ize it, and then move it around.”

Docker’s customers are looking to employ containerization as a way to mix applications in a unified environment, he explained, not partition them into metaphysical states of being. He singled out bimodal IT specifically as a “fallacy,” suggesting that the effort involved in making old applications coexist with new models could be described as “Mode 2,” and that the migration process requires careful consideration and planning that Gartner would describe as “Mode 1.”

The reconciliation between the old and the new models, and the disagreements with the bimodal concept — which extend to OpenStack and OpenShift leader Red Hat as well as Docker — are the subject of this week’s edition of The New Stack: Context, a podcast produced by Scott Fulton and Luke Lefler.

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