back to article CoreOS's Docker-rival Rocket: We drill into new container contender

CoreOS CEO Alex Polvi certainly got the attention of the Docker community on Monday when he announced Rocket, his company's alternative to the Docker container file format and runtime. But just what is Rocket and what does it offer that Docker doesn't? Simply put, the answer for now is a resounding "not much." In fact, as …

  1. nematoad Silver badge

    Hmm

    This looks to me like a reprise of the systemd situation.

    Someone has a bright idea and starts getting people on board. Then, ambition starts making itself felt, and the project starts spreading, taking in new areas and methods thus alienating some of the original supporters.

    I'm not sure why this should be, not being a developer, but the lure of the new and as I said ambition seem to promote "mission creep" and bloat. Not knowing when to stop does seem to be a problem with both these projects.

    With luck the Docker people will be more amenable to outside suggestions and constructive criticism otherwise I can foresee another promising technology becoming bogged down in argument and recrimination.

    It does seem to as if the developers of both projects have forgotten the Unix way of working. Write a program to do one thing and do it well, and not try to be all things to all men.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      Docker is actually part of the systemd hype. CoreOS uses it too though.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      That was my first thought as I saw the expansion of project scope. I totally get the goal Docker the platform has in its sights. For enterprise it'll rank up with true wizardry. It's the other people, especially those will ever only be local or local with a cloud DR backing, that I have a hard time seeing as needing Docker the platform. Increased likelihood of bugs and larger attack surface. There is a role for Rocket there. There's also a role for Lego-like microservice construction, which might result in a Microsoft Partner like ecosystem, if you're willing to go further.

    3. Kepler

      Re: Hmm

      "It does seem to as if the developers of both projects have forgotten the Unix way of working. Write a program to do one thing and do it well, and not try to be all things to all men."

      Isn't that kind-of or largely the point behind Rocket — the point that Polvi and the other CoreOS people were making?

      "What the CoreOS team likes is the idea of a container as a basic building block of application development, where each container provides a 'microservice' that can be combined with other microservices to form distributed applications.

      In this development model, Polvi argues, you probably want the software that you use to run your containers to do that and nothing else."

      Nematoad, are you saying that even Rocket departs from the Unix way of doing things, or merely that the CoreOS development team has departed from the Unix way of doing things on projects other than Rocket? (Or even on CoreOS itself — for instance, by embracing systemd?)

  2. Adrian 4 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Containers all the way down

    Isn't the point of an operating sytem to provide process isolation whilst offering standardised services ?

    Of course, those services develop in different ways, and eventually we have the problem that our processes depend on the rapidly diverging 'standard' services.

    I guess next month's thing will be a container virtualisation model, so we can substitute the app container or containing OS of our choice.

    http://xkcd.com/927/

    1. Justin Case
      Coat

      Re: Containers all the way down

      >Isn't the point of an operating sytem to provide process isolation whilst offering standardised services?

      ...seems that way to me. Sometimes it appears that the whole IT thing is one big circular re-invention of the wheel. I must be getting old, time to get me coat, shuffle off and tend my rapidly whitening beard.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        Re: Containers all the way down

        "and tend my rapidly whitening beard."

        Bloody Hipster!

  3. Stretch

    should container admins start planning for the day when they ditch Docker

    They only put them on it last week.

  4. pyite

    lxc or openvz?

    Are these systems still stuck with lxc or do they work properly with openvz?

  5. Kepler
    Linux

    What about BSD?

    "The Docker tech may even one day be OS-agnostic – Microsoft is a Docker partner and . . . has announced that a future version of Windows Server will support running containerized applications based on the Docker protocols – while Rocket is likely to remain Linux-only."

    What about the various BSDs? Or the remaining commercial Unixes? (Count Mac OS X in either category.) Might Rocket eventually be able to work with any of them?

    .

    (I understand that even Docker does not presently support any of the BSD variants, nor any other species of Unix, and that FreeBSD and Solaris already have their own counterparts to Docker (Jails and Zones, respectively). (I believe that AIX and HP-UX do as well.)

    And of course that CoreOS is, after all, a Linux variant.)

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