With a whole day aimed at getting you to a happy space, we asked Magnum’s project technical lead what everyone should know about this hot topic.

Make some room in your Summit schedule for containers.

There’s now a whole day blocked out for this talked-about technology.

The first-ever Container day kicks off with a morning overview and building a business case for containers. Then a session dives into Magnum, an API service developed by the OpenStack containers team for OpenStack to make container management tools such as Docker and Kubernetes available as first-class resources in OpenStack. There’s also a session on bringing Docker and Kubernetes to OpenStack with Murano and day winds up with an unconference to push initiatives forward.

For context on containers, Superuser talked to Adrian Otto, principal architect at Rackspace and the project technical lead (PTL) for Magnum, an API service developed by the OpenStack containers team. You’ll find his complete interview in the special print edition of Superuser at the Summit and you can catch him speaking on Docker and Magnum at the Summit, too.

What should everyone know about containers?

Containers are not a newer/smaller virtualization. They are different, and have a different set of benefits. If you use them for the right reasons (deployment simplicity, implementing immutable infrastructure, simplifying configuration management, app portability, etc.) then you will be delighted. If you expect them to replace your hypervisor and VMs, then you ought to think about it again after aligning the container benefits with your set of needs.

If what you want is security isolation between neighboring applications, then stick with virtual machines for that. If what you want is more dense packing of applications all belonging to the same user, group, or organization, where the security isolation is not a major concern, then containers are a better tool for that than virtual machines because they have lower overhead by sharing a single kernel. I would also point out to users that once they have a container image for their application, they can move it to any compute environment they want (bare metal servers, virtual machines, etc.). That level of application portability is better than almost any other approach we have today.

Cover Photo by Gabriele Diwald // CC BY NC