New App Container Tools from CoreOS and Puppet

The expanding application container and micro-services infrastructure got another boost this week with the introduction of a new set of tools for managing distributed software used to orchestrate micro-services.

CoreOS, announced a new open source distributed storage system designed to provide scalable storage to clusters orchestrated by the Kubernetes container management platform.

Puppet, the IT automation specialist based in Portland, Ore., recently released a suite of tools under the codename Project Blueshift that provides modules for running container software from CoreOS, Docker and Mesosphere along with Kubernetes cluster manager. This week it released a new set of Docker images for running its software on the Docker Hub.

Blueshift software tools could now be deployed and run on top of Docker. Running within the application container platform makes it easier to scale Puppet.

A new agent to manage Linux virtual machines running on IBM z Systems and LinuxOne platforms. In addition, it announced new modules for IBM WebSphere application and integration middleware along with a module for supporting a Cisco System’s line of Nexus switches. The modules are intended to automate IT management while speeding application deployment across hybrid cloud infrastructure.

IBM Websphere module is available now, and a new agent with packages supporting Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 along with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 and 12 would be available later this summer.

Meanwhile, San Francisco-based CoreOS rolled out a new open source distributed storage effort this week designed to address persistent storage in container clusters. The company said its Torus distributed storage platform aims to deliver scalable storage for container clusters orchestrated by the Kubernetes container manager. A prototype version of Torus is available on GitHub.

CoreOS said Torus aims to solve common storage issues associated with running distributed applications. “While it is possible to connect legacy storage to container infrastructure, the mismatch between these two models convinced us that the new problems of providing storage to container clusters warranted a new solution,” the company noted in a statement announcing the open source storage effort.

Operating on the premise that large clusters of applications containers require persistent storage, CoreOS argues that storage for clusters of lightweight virtual machines must be uniformly available across a network as processing shifts among containers.

Torus runs on the CoreOS distributed key value store called etcd that is used to store data across a cluster of machines. The storage building block is deployed in “thousands” of production deployments, CoreOS claims. That configuration allows Torus to zero in on custom persistent storage configurations. The tool also is designed as a building block for delivering different types of storage, including distributed block devices or large object storage.

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