Cloud host DigitalOcean catches Docker fever

Digital Ocean now offers CoreOS virtual machines, with built-in Docker support

One of the fastest growing cloud hosting services, DigitalOcean, now offers one of the hottest virtualization technologies, Docker.

Customers now have the option to run the Docker-friendly CoreOS Linux distribution as a virtual machine on the service. Running CoreOS "is the easiest way and most affordable way for developers to start experimenting with Docker containers," said Mitch Wainer, the company's co-founder and chief marketing officer. Users can run a DigitalOcean virtual machine for as little as US$5 per month.

The hosted version of CoreOS also provides DigitalOcean customers with a way to rapidly set up clusters of virtual machines to work together on one large task, such as running a heavily used Web application.

"CoreOS is most appropriate for companies that want to play with this container ecosystem that is emerging, as well as the distributed systems that run these containers across a large set of servers," said Alex Polvi, CoreOS CEO.

Officially launched last December, CoreOS was designed to focus on an emerging use of the open-source OS kernel -- that of powering lots of cloud-based virtual servers. "It's a pretty big departure from the way Ubuntu, Red Hat and other distributions are organized," Polvi said.

CoreOS was built to run Docker containers, a type of virtualization technology that simplifies and speeds the process of running virtual machines by doing away with the need for a separate OS, and instead having the host provide the OS functionality.

Google and VMware have both already incorporated Docker support in their cloud services and products, respectively.

In a container-based architecture, Polvi explained, an organization could devote a container to each application they run, such as a database or caching software, which then can be easily copied, deployed and reused, as a component in a larger system. Administrators can set up a Web application by assembling a set of containers with the appropriate components and then coordinating the operations of these components.

If one virtual machine goes down, identical backup containers on other virtual machines can rapidly take over the work.

CoreOS relies on a program called etcd, which can coordinate actions of multiple virtual machines that are running in a cluster, and is a key piece in keeping a distributed application running even if one of its nodes ceases operation, Polvi said.

Due at least in part to its low-cost pricing, DigitalOcean is one of the fastest growing hosting providers in the rapidly growing market for cloud services, according to ongoing analysis from Netcraft, a security services company that also keeps track of the usage of different servers, OSes, hosting providers and content technologies on the Internet. Netcraft estimates that DigitalOcean, founded in 2011, is currently the fifth largest hosting provider. Wainer disclosed that DigitalOcean currently has 160,000 active accounts.

Besides CoreOS, DigitalOcean also offers Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian and CentOS Linux distributions.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags cloud computinginternetInfrastructure servicesDigitalOcean

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?