Docker Focuses on Log Management for Containers

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    With an eye toward making it simpler to manage thousands of Docker containers running in a production environment, Docker, Inc., this week announced a technology partnership program aimed specifically at providers of log management software and services.

    David Messina, senior vice president of marketing, says the Docker Ecosystem Technology Partner (ETP) for logging is intended to help IT operations teams know which log management offerings have been validated to keep track of Docker containers that tend to spin up and down rapidly in IT environments. The first members of the Docker ETP program include Amazon CloudWatch from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Elastic, Graylog, Rapid7, Loggly, Papertrail, Sematext Logsene, Sumo Logic and Treasure Data.

    There’s no doubt that the rise of containers from an operations perspective will make containers more difficult to manage. Not only is it a lot simpler to spin up a container than a virtual machine, but the number of containers in an IT environment will soon dwarf the number of virtual machines. That makes the potential for container sprawl to be fairly high. To give IT organizations more insight into Docker containers, Messina says it’s crucial the IT operations teams have access to logging tools that will enable them to better understand exactly what occurred when, at any given moment.

    Of course, a big part of the container challenge facing IT organizations is the simple fact that no one is quite sure where Docker containers are going to predominately run in an IT environment. Many organizations will initially opt to deploy containers on top of virtual machines or in a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment because they already have tooling in place to manage and secure those platforms. But it’s also expected that, over time, many Docker containers will wind up running on bare-metal servers in order to achieve both higher levels of density and better application performance.

    Naturally, most IT organizations are a long way from actually sorting all this out. But regardless of where those Docker containers wind up getting deployed, the journey associated with managing those containers is almost always going to start with some form of log management.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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