I rode my first Whale, DockerCon17

I attended my first DockerCon last week, here are my final thoughts;

Docker is here to stay! Which is a good thing, but I can see the passion in all of their employees, and they are going to continue to evolve their product line to provide the software development and operations world great tools.

My goals for the conference were to see not only how I can apply this to my everyday life at work, but how I can apply this technology in my open source projects as well. Hopefully I could meet some great resources along the way! Oh, and eat some Brisket, mmmmmmmm brisket!

Likes: This conference was super focused, nothing even the slightly bit not related to containers was mentioned. It was nice to not have any distractions. The staff conference and Docker were extremely nice and helpful! I liked that the vendor expo had extended hours, many times I go to a conference and I am forced to choose between attending sessions or talking with vendors at the expo, I didn’t have to do that at Dockercon, plenty of time for both.

Dislikes: The workshop I signed up for was horrible, we spent the first 30 minutes doing hands on work, and the other 2.5 hours listening to two guys read their slides, it was not very helpful. Overall, I wish there would have been more Windows content, I know its new, but it was lacking. In general I feel like there could have been more sessions. It appeared that all of the “here’s how we did it” sessions were from big huge companies, nothing in the SMB range to compare myself to. My last criticism is that the community theaters were horrible to attend, people were pushing and shoving to get closer, because it was very very difficult to hear. I liked the concept, but the delivery just didn’t work out.

Takeaways:

  1. I’m very interested to learn more and test drive VMware’s VIC (vSphere Integrated Containers). Due to the fact that I work with VMware products a lot, it seems like a logical decision. I also like that they are providing a complete solution here, with Harbor, Admiral and the Photon Platform (minus Windows).
  2. Windows has a long way to go. It works, but its not ready for prime time. The images are too large, and the application pool is too low for it to be a versatile and enterprise solution. It may be useful if someone is already running Hyper-V as their hypervisor, but I assume this is not the case for most.
  3. Less is more! I learned quite a bit, however the message that never changed was to continue to reduce the size of the container images! Abby Fuller had a great session on this that kept playing over in my head.
  4. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

What now?

  1. I already updated my Windows images to conserve space. I saved about 1gb on my PowerTools image, and several mb on my Nano Image by following some simple tricks learned in the Abby Fuller session. Check it out on Docker Hub.
  2. Soon Windows will allow you to run Linux and Windows containers at the same time from the same host OS, this is exciting. This will allow me to create a small application on a single host, without having to use a Windows application stack, but use my powershell containers for processing the work.
  3. I also learned how the layers of the Images worked, and that I should avoid leaving files on the layers to conserve space. This forced me to upload some of my modules to the Powershell Gallery to provide easy installation, and a smaller footprint. So that’s kinda cool!
  4. I need to get to it, and start developing a plan to migrate from vm’s to containers!

Last, but not least:

I was worried that I was very behind the curve on Docker, but in talking with quite a few of attendees, it appears we are all in the same boat. There is plenty of help out there and many folks that are in your same situation. Join the community, join the slack channels, and start asking questions. It’s a very helpful and welcoming community, which is very refreshing! Give Docker a test drive and see how it can help your organization run faster and leaner. I encourage everyone to throw a bathing suit on and go ride a whale!

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