It’s now possible to move Docker containers between Linux and Windows systems by deploying the latest version of DxEnterprise virtual host software from DH2i.
A version 17 release of DxEnterprise unveiled this week adds support for stateful Docker containers in addition to Linux and Microsoft SQL Server 2017 database. Previously, DxEnterprise was only available on Windows Server. But with Microsoft now embracing containers and enabling Microsoft SQL Server databases to run on Linux servers, the time has come to expand the reach and scope of the platforms the company supports, says DH2i CEO Don Boxley. Other databases DxEnterpise supports include Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB and MongoDB.
The Virtual Host technology developed by DxEnterprise creates a lightweight DH2i container that allows any piece of software encapsulated in the container to be moved on to another host. DxEnterprise has layered InstanceMobility software to enable IT organizations to move container images and other application code to move across operating systems. DxEnterprise supplements that capability by also providing health and performance monitoring tools, alerts and automated orchestration, all built into the core platform. In addition, there’s a SCSI reservation system to assign storage resources to a specific virtual host as well as a volume manager for managing files. Each virtual host Vhost can be associated with any number of containers or SQL Server instances. Administrators can create multiple virtual hosts that can be spread across multiple database and container instances.
Boxley says one of the primary use cases for DxEnterprise is to provide a disaster recovery capability. The latest release has enhanced that capability by building support for high-availability and disaster recovery tools into the core platform. When an application fails, DxEnterprise will restart that application automatically on a different local or remote cluster node.
DxEnterprise also enables failover in the case of planned outages, such as operating system updates, or unplanned outages, such as the crash of a primary node. To prepare for an operating system update, an administrator first moves the applications off the node. DxEnterprise also can be employed to deliver patch updates to multiple databases at the same time.
How much migration of containers occurs between operating systems remains to be seen. Most IT organizations are unaware that it’s even possible using virtual host software. Boxley says more organizations than ever are embracing Docker containers and managing applications deployed on both Windows and Linux servers. The end result, he says, is much more efficient usage of operating systems that serves to reduce operating system sprawl.
DxEnterprise now also provides IT organizations with increased flexibility in terms of where container applications can be deployed, he adds. Applications developed on a public cloud, for example, can be migrated easily to a server in an on-premises environment regardless of what operating system is deployed on it.
Virtual host technology has been around now for some time. But with the rise of containers, the need to support more application code on a limited number of servers has never been more acute. Faced with that challenge, many IT organizations would be well-advised to investigate any and all options to maximize server utilization whenever possible.