Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Saturday, January 29, 2022

Mesosphere Touts ‘Container 2.0’ 

In a bid to jumpstart what it calls a "Container 2.0" movement, application container pioneer Mesosphere announced partnerships with big data vendors designed to push distributed application technology to the next level.

Mesosphere said Monday (Aug. 1) it is working with a trio of new partners to advance its datacenter operating center approach to container orchestration: DataStax, the Cassandra-based enterprise database vendor; Confluent, developers of a Kafka-based platform; and Lightbend Inc., the startup behind the Scala programming language.

The company describes its Container 2.0 initiative as a better way to orchestrate so-called stateless and stateful enterprise services using the same set of datacenter or cloud resources.

"While Container 1.0 is a useful conversation starter and a great way to get people interested in building with containers, it’s actually of limited utility," Mesosphere CEO Florian Liebert noted in a blog post. "Companies only start seeing real, impactful business improvements when they move beyond individual containers and start operating with higher-level abstractions. In this 2.0 world, containers become an implementation detail, part of the solution."

The company envisions a new set of container-based enterprise applications and services deployed as objects. Those applications might consist of hundreds of isolated containers running across infrastructure services ranging from databases and message queues. The difference between version 2.0 and the initial release of container technology would be the ability to deploy and scale container technology in datacenters or the cloud "as a single cohesive unit," Liebert stressed.

Meanwhile, Mesosphere's new partners announced the availability of their services on its datacenter operating system platform. DataStax said its enterprise database platform targets building and running distributed applications in the cloud. The Cassandra-based database joins a growing list of services available through the Mesosphere platform.

The partners also cited growing demand for the ability to schedule stateful workloads such as databases along with primarily stateless container workloads. They argue that the ability to run different workloads in a single cluster would greatly advance datacenter performance while enhancing the ability to manage capacity.

Meanwhile, Mesosphere partner Confluent, whose founders created Kafka while working at LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD), noted that the combination of its platform with the datacenter operating system could be used to run web servers, file systems and analytical tools. The partnership would help customers run more streaming processing applications using Kafka, Confluent CTO Neha Narkhede noted in a statement.

Lightbend said the partnership with Mesosphere would address growing requirements to process data in near real time rather than data at rest. The company's endorsement of the Container 2.0 approach also reflects the shifting focus toward micro-services architectures along with a range of hybrid cloud deployment models.

Leveraging open-source platforms ranging from Mesos to Cassandra to Kafka and Spark, Mesosphere's Liebert added that "companies are well down the road toward modern containerized and data-driven applications, and now they’re looking for the right software to bring those apps from the lab and into production."

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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