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Docker: The New Ordinary

Feb 3, 2017 3:25:00 PM By Derek Weeks

The “new ordinary”.

There you were.  You heard about Docker, become mesmerized, floated into it’s new special world...and then all chaos broke out.  Things were not that easy and you scrambled for knowledge.  Some folks saw the light and stepped forward, while others are still trying to figure the out the happy path home where containers will become part of their new ordinary.

This is the true story of Daniël van Gils (@foldingbeauty) and the 12 steps he laid out in his Docker journey.  He shared this journey during his presentation at the recent All Day DevOps conference, and I’ll share a summary of his steps here.  His journey will take you full-circle, from your “ordinary IT world” to the “very special container world” and back to where the container world is the new ordinary.

Containerization continues to be a hot topic in the software world, and one that is only going to grow and mature. As it matures, questions still abound:

  • How can you implement containerization into your organization?
  • Have you already started but run into roadblocks?
  • How can you be the hero of your organization’s journey?

Daniël van Gils (@foldingbeauty) is a developer at Cloud 66 and addressed this journey in his talk, Docker Inside/Out, at the recent All Day DevOps Conference.

docker hero journey 1-1.png

Daniël’s journey started in the Ordinary World (#1) - the world you might be in now. You are at a conference, you read a book, you talk to some colleagues, and you want to jump into containers. You receive the Call to Adventure (#2)...but wait, you are human, you like the safe, you fear the unknown - so you want to Refuse the Call (#3).

Thankfully, others -- like Daniël -- have taken the journey. They can take you under their wings, coddle you, and then push you out of the nest. You Meet a Mentor (#4) and follow your heart. A heart is the good stuff - it is the core. Like most people would have, Daniël chose an artichoke to illustrate his point.  

docker hero journey 2-1.png

The heart of the artichoke is the good stuff, but the outer leaves protect the heart and make up the whole artichoke. Each aspect of an organization has something that drives them...their heart:

  • Development - building elegantly performing code
  • Operations - stable, performing code
  • Business - delivering the right services to customers
  • Customers - consuming the service they want

Your drive to satisfy the heart’s desire gives you the courage to Cross the Threshold (#5). You have a containerization machine, such as Docker. You put code in, creating nice little containers.

docker hero journey 3-1.png

Now that your infrastructure is setup, you test and know where your allies and enemies are (#6). The most important lesson here is that shortcuts are your enemy. Shortcuts are evil, promising a life of ease, but delivering a life of pain.

Daniël offers his Approach (#7) through the Docker journey to ensure you’re successful. You must KISSSSS:

Keep It...

  • Slim - remove what you don’t need
  • Secure - ensure you have the latest updates; remove all secrets
  • Speedy - Follow best deployment practices and run performance tests
  • Stable - Use version numbers for your Docker files
  • Set - Immutable. Don’t put databases or complicated volumes into your containers. You can, but the the technology is still too new.

The next steps in his journey cover Ordeals, Death, and Rebirth (#8). Once you pass this point in the journey, you’ll understand what it takes to run Docker in production and have shown the proof of concepts.  You’ll then reap the Rewards (#9) and have clear visibility to your Road Back (#10) to the new ordinary.

For the successful heroes on this journey, now is your moment to shine.  The next steps: your Resurrection (#11) and to Return with Elixir (#12) where containers are now the new ordinary.

If you want to learn more about Daniël’s Docker journey, be sure to watch his full All Day DevOps conference session (only 30 minutes). The other 56 presentations from the All Day DevOps Conference are available online, free-of-charge here.

This blog series is reviewing sessions from the All Day DevOps conference from November which hosted over 13,500 registered attendees. Last week I discussed, “One Team, 5,000 Jobs: Life in the DevOps Jungle”. Next week, look for “Launching Products at Massive Scale: The DevOps Way - Kishore Jalleda & Gopal Moore”.