#SwarmWeek: Introduction to container orchestration with Docker Swarm

Mar 7 2016

Welcome to #SwarmWeek!

In this rapidly changing container ecosystem, we believe that orchestration is one piece of a complete end-to-end application platform for both developers and IT operations teams to build, ship and run distributed applications. Docker Swarm is a big part of our orchestration toolset which includes:

  • Docker Swarm for host clustering and container scheduling
  • Docker Machine for automating Docker host provisioning
  • Docker Compose for defining multi-container applications

To understand the key capabilities of Docker and how Machine, Swarm, Compose and our management tools all work together, watch this webinar on Docker Orchestration


The focal point of this week is Docker Swarm, which enables IT admins to:

  • Efficiently manage large numbers of Docker hosts by clustering them into a single virtual host, aka the Swarm manager. All commands are executed through a single manager to control what happens across the clusters.
  • Flexibility in how containers are deployed to optimally use the resources across hosts. Select to have containers evenly distributed, packed into a few hosts or have certain containers always reside together or on separate hosts – whatever you need to meet the needs of the application.
  • “Batteries included but swappable” allow teams to use the service discovery service of choice.
  • Configure a highly available Docker application environment. Multiple Swarm managers can be deployed and set to automatically failover when the primary manager fails. If a node fails, Swarm will attempt to reschedule those containers on a healthy node in the cluster.

Throughout this week we will dive into the features of Swarm, provide tutorials so you can launch your first cluster, try new use cases and learn about how companies around the world are using Swarm in their environment.


Docker Swarm Timeline: From beta to production scale in less than one year

The journey to #SwarmWeek started with the public beta in February of last year to GA in November, a lot of pull requests were merged leading up to today. Here is a quick look back at the history of Swarm.

Feb 2015: Docker Swarm Public Beta

Public beta availability of the Docker orchestration toolset including Docker Machine for automated provisioning, Docker Swarm for clustering and scheduling and Docker Compose for multi-container application definition

April 2015: Swarm 0.2 Expands Capabilities

In the first release after beta we added features like additional scheduling strategies and expanded Docker API support.

June 2015: Swarm 0.3 Improves Stability and HA

Just in time for DockerCon, as part of Docker 1.6 release Swarm adds features allowing for multiple Swarm managers for failover/HA and improves overall stability

Aug 2015: Swarm 0.4 Improving Stability and Quality
Nov 2015: Swarm 1.0 General Availability and Production Scale

In just seven short months, Docker Swarm goes from beta to a production scale supporting 1,000 nodes and over 30,000 containers.

Jan 2016: Swarm 1.1 Availability and Uptime

With a solid foundation from the recent GA, this release delivers features to better manage the nodes and reschedule containers when a node failures. Get the details of the latest release.

Feb 2016: Integrated in Docker Datacenter

The recent launch of Docker Datacenter (DDC) delivers a solution for companies to deploy a Containers as a Service platform on-premises or in their VPC to build, ship and deploy their applications anywhere. Docker Swarm is embedded as the native clustering and scheduling solution inside of Universal Control Plane, the management tool part of DDC. This integration provides an easy transition from apps built in Docker by devs to production.

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A big THANK YOU to all of the maintainers, contributors and community for helping make Swarm what it is today. It has been an exciting year and there is more to come as we look towards the next release and through the year. In our next blog post you’ll get a chance to meet the team behind Docker Swarm – feel free to reach out, file an issue or join a discussion.

And don’t forget to participate in our DockerCon ticket raffle! Share a picture or description of your Swarm with us on Twitter and tag @docker and #SwarmWeek for a chance to win a free ticket to DockerCon 2016 in Seattle, June 20-21.

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