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Triton: Docker on Bare-Metal Without VMs

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Bryan Cantrill, the CTO of Joyent, was speaking at O'Reilly's Software Architecture Conference in Boston last week about some new technology from his company.  If you've ever had a chance to hear him speak, you know that his energy goes up to 11. For years, Joyent has been all-in on OS-based virtualization being the future of computing, and with the Docker/container revolution in full swing, they think that the rest of the industry is starting to realize this too.

That's why they've been open sourcing their software left and right while also building a Docker engine for their SmartDataCenter technology. Now they've announced a new product called "Triton" which is a new infrastructure offering that has containers baked-in. It aims to solve a lot of the operational side problems with Docker related to security and network efficiency.  

You can test drive it very easily here.  Might be worth your time if you're a heavy Docker user.

Here are some of the specific features of Triton listed in the announcement today:

  • Simplified Host Management: Triton virtualizes the entire datacenter as a single, elastic Docker host, removing layers of orchestration complexity and enabling developers to deploy and scale an application from laptop to production with the push of a button.
  • Security: Triton’s container runtime was built for security isolation first, enabling secure bare-metal performance in multi-tenant environments. Triton works with native Linux binaries and Docker.
  • Networking: Triton’s software-defined networking solution brings full network connectivity to each container and VXLANs across containers. By treating the container as a first class citizen on the network, Triton makes network management simple, secure and highly performant.
  • Bare Metal Performance: Hosting Docker containers in virtual machines slows performance. Triton’s container runtime leverages OS virtualization and eliminates the need for a hardware hypervisor layer, delivering bare-metal performance while eliminating the hardware hypervisor tax.

For more on Joyent's long history with OS-based virtualization and containers (which started back with Sun Microsystems) check out this video presentation by Bryan Cantrill or read the transcript.  It's very similar to the talk Bryan gave at the Software Architecture Conference.

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