Red Hat steams into Docker with RHEL 7

Red Hat’s release today of Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 7 focused heavily on the integration of the Docker framework, adding a variant Atomic edition specifically to deal with Docker.

Docker is essentially a containerized environment into which apps can be packaged. The idea is compatibility – anything that supports Docker can use apps contained in a Docker package. Using a containerization framework like this helps application developers create apps for a wide range of platforms more easily, as well as making them easier to deploy.

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Docker is a particularly big deal for enterprise computing – as many readers will have realized already, given the volume of news coming out about it this week – because it offers a different, and in some cases more effective, type of virtualization than traditional VMs.

Jay Lyman, a senior analyst at 451 Research, said that the technology has gained ground of late.

“It sort of represents a de facto standard that is emerging in how web, mobile and increasingly enterprise applications are packaged for the cloud,” he said.

For the cloud, according to IDC software development research program director Al Hilwa, containerization is a potentially game-changing new technology.

“This is important technology for the evolution of PaaS,” he said in an emailed comment. “It is an important way to get standardization at the sub-virtual machine level, allowing portable apps to be packaged in a lightweight fashion and easily and reliably be consumed by PaaS clouds everywhere.”

For RHEL 7, 451 Research’s Lyman said that Docker integration is a “significant” step forward, and one that illustrates Red Hat’s focus on the cloud.

“The integration and support of Docker and other features, such as the Atomic minimized OS for containers, also highlight how significant cloud computing has become for Red Hat and its core Linux,” he said.

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