Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Sunday, May 31, 2020
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AWS Launches Container Services, DevOps Tools Follow 

Amazon Web Services (AMZN) beefed up the Docker application container infrastructure this week with the roll out of a container registry and interface tool designed to scale and rapidly update micro-services and distributed applications.

The Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) container registry unveiled this week at a company event follows last year's launch of its EC2 container service. The AWS registry coupled with a new container service interface also illustrate how far the Docker container ecosystem has come in just over a year.

Docker developers moved quickly to embrace the new application delivery infrastructure. For example, DevOps startup Shippable on Thursday (Oct. 8) announced native integration with the Amazon EC2 container service along with the new container registry. The Seattle-based company said the integration would help speed deployment of Docker-based applications from any Git-based source control to the Amazon container service. It also would eliminate the need for special DevOps automation code.

Docker images are pulled from a registry when an application container is launched. "We have learned that [customers] need a registry that is highly available and exceptionally scalable, and globally accessible, with the ability to support deployments that span two or more AWS regions," Jeff Barr, chief evangelist for AWS, explained in a blog post.

Barr said AWS would launch the container registry later this year as a way for customers to avoid the operational hassles of managing container deployment as they are integrated into more production workflows.

Meanwhile, a related EC2 command line interface running on a development machine is intended to push container images to the registry, where the Amazon container service retrieved them for use in production deployments, Barr said. The interface also supports Docker Compose, the open-source tool for defining and running multi-container applications.

Addressing ongoing container security concerns, Amazon said Docker images retrieved from its Simple Storage Service would be encrypted "at rest" and in transit.

Shippable, the DevOps tool vendor, said this week it would provide the workflows around the new Amazon container services through a "delivery pipeline" that includes integration and image management along with deployment and configuration management.

Running on the Amazon registry and container services, the startup said its image manager would automatically test code before generating a "versioned" Docker image in advance of storage in the registry and deployment on the container service.

The deployment and configuration manager provides a platform for orchestrating Docker application deployments into "versioned" Amazon container service environments without the need for DevOps automation code. Shippable stressed that application configurations can be managed while upgrading versions in a click.

Amazon's container service deployments based on Shippable's delivery platform are available now, the company said. Its integration with the Amazon container registry will be available later this year when the AWS container registry is launched.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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