As a follow-up to the recently announced Swarm Mode (Beta) release, we wanted to provide additional background info on this release, talk about the future of Swarm Mode in Docker Cloud, and provide some recent updates based on your feedback.
Last year, with the introduction of swarm mode in Docker 1.12, built-in orchestration capabilities became directly available within the Docker engine. For the first time, Docker users had an out-of-the box experience that showed how simple it can be to provision a secure and fully-distributed Docker cluster on which to deploy highly available and scalable applications.
Evolving Docker Cloud to Swarm Mode
When the Docker Cloud runtime (formerly known as Tutum) was originally developed in 2014, it used its own orchestration and networking stack (e.g. Weave). As orchestration and networking became natively available as part of the Docker Engine, the current Docker Cloud (Standard Mode) experience was incompatible with 1.12. For example, multi-host container links were implemented in Standard Mode using a combination of overlay network configuration and DNS-based service discovery that was custom built for Docker Cloud; Docker Engine 1.12 deprecated container links altogether and replaced them with user defined networks.
With the goal of providing a more consistent Docker platform experience with the same ease of use that Docker Cloud users are familiar with, the team immediately began updating Docker Cloud to leverage the new capabilities available in the Docker platform.
On March 2nd, the initial Swarm Mode (Beta) was released as a first step towards this integrated Swarm Mode experience leveraging existing Docker for IaaS Editions (e.g. AWS). Specifically, the first release focused on solving two important problems: 1) How do I easily provision swarms on IaaS providers? 2) How do I manage all my swarms in one place? The latter question becomes especially important with hybrid cloud deployments.
To provide you with a better understanding of the Docker Cloud strategic direction, we opened up early access to the Beta instead of waiting until the entire swarm mode UI capabilities became available.
What’s next in Swarm Mode?
Swarm Mode will be continually enhanced and expanded in the coming months to include a consistent UI with the Docker platform. Additionally, we will also add more IaaS providers for managing deployments (e.g. Azure).
By leveraging the core Docker platform, as it continues to evolve, Docker Cloud will immediately benefit from new features and capabilities. Providing an experience that is consistent with the Docker platform is a critical part of Docker Cloud’s strategy along with delivering the same automation and collaboration capabilities that teams rely on to build, ship, and run Docker applications.
Swarm Mode also provides an important first step towards an integrated Docker Cloud and Docker desktop experience that makes building apps on your Windows or Mac desktops even easier. With the new fleet management capabilities, you now have a centralized place to securely access (directly from your desktop) all your swarms in a single click, wherever they are.
Update on Standard Mode
Docker Cloud Standard Mode will continue to support Docker 1.11-based deployments, while Swarm Mode will be the path forward for Docker Cloud users interested in 1.12+ capabilities.
Standard Mode functionality will continue to be available and we will provide a migration path for existing Standard Mode users when equivalent UI and platform capabilities are available in Swarm Mode in the coming months.
Finally, in response to the recent feedback regarding the default experiences, we are also making the ability to switch between Standard Mode and Swarm Mode available to all users.
If you’re an existing Docker Cloud customer who signed up prior to March 2nd, your initial experience will default to Standard Mode, with Swarm Mode accessible by just flipping the Swarm Mode toggle. Similarly, if you signed up after March 2nd, your default experience will be Swarm Mode, but you can flip the Swarm Mode toggle to off in order to access Standard Mode functionality.
Note: All of your existing Stacks, Services, Containers, and Node Clusters are still accessible in Docker Cloud Standard Mode, and you can always flip the Swarm Mode toggle to OFF to access them.
Get Started with Swarm Mode
We invite you to try out the new Beta Swarm Mode functionality in Docker Cloud and share your feedback. If you’re not yet ready to move over to Beta Swarm Mode, you can continue to use Standard Mode. We’ll notify customers well in advance of the Standard Mode retirement date.
The Docker team is focused on building innovative tools to improve how developers build, ship, and run their applications and, as always, we welcome your feedback.
Stay tuned for updates as we add more Swarm Mode features to Docker Cloud this year!
The Docker Team