Swarm v. Fleet v. Kubernetes v. Mesos

Comparing different orchestration tools.

Buy Using Docker Early Release.

Buy Using Docker Early Release.

Most software systems evolve over time. New features are added and old ones pruned. Fluctuating user demand means an efficient system must be able to quickly scale resources up and down. Demands for near zero-downtime require automatic fail-over to pre-provisioned back-up systems, normally in a separate data centre or region.

On top of this, organizations often have multiple such systems to run, or need to run occasional tasks such as data-mining that are separate from the main system, but require significant resources or talk to the existing system.

When using multiple resources, it is important to make sure they are efficiently used — not sitting idle — but can still cope with spikes in demand. Balancing cost-effectiveness against the ability to quickly scale is difficult task that can be approached in a variety of ways.

All of this means that the running of a non-trivial system is full of administrative tasks and challenges, the complexity of which should not be underestimated. It quickly becomes impossible to look after machines on an individual level; rather than patching and updating machines one-by-one they must be treated identically. When a machine develops a problem it should be destroyed and replaced, rather than nursed back to health.

Various software tools and solutions exist to help with these challenges. Let’s focus on orchestration tools, which help make all the pieces work together, working with the cluster to start containers on appropriate hosts and connect them together. Along the way, we’ll consider scaling and automatic failover, which are important features.

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Julia Ko on developing a different kind of smartphone

The O’Reilly Solid Podcast: Entrepreneurship, niche product development, and spotting business opportunities.

Subscribe to the O’Reilly Solid Podcast for insight and analysis about the Internet of Things and the worlds of hardware, software, and manufacturing.


Many of the hardware creators we speak with come into their work through the enthusiast route: they start with an engineering problem they want to solve or a piece of technology they think is interesting, then look for an application that would support a business.

Julia Ko, our guest on this week’s episode of the Solid Podcast, started her company SurePod a very different way. She saw the business opportunity first, studying wholesale mobile contracts and the sales networks that distribute medical devices, and she developed a plan for a simplified mobile phone for older people. Only then did she learn the technical aspects of hardware production.

In this episode, we talk about Ko’s development as an entrepreneur, the challenge of creating a product for which you aren’t the target audience, and the best mobile phone carrier (Ko says it’s AT&T).

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Design Startup Showcase: Call for proposals

Get your new design product or prototype in front of industry movers and shakers at the O’Reilly Design Conference.


The O’Reilly Design Conference is just a few short months away, and we’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be hosting a Startup Showcase.

We’re seeking design startups that want to pitch judges and attendees — a broad selection of venture capitalists, leaders, and innovators from the investment and design communities. Successful applicants will receive free space in the exhibit hall at the Design Conference. Onsite, a panel of judges will vote for the best in show — winners will be announced on the keynote stage and will be featured in a post on oreilly.com.

Startup requirements include:

  • Must be early stage, under three years.
  • Your product should not yet be launched but within view of shipping an early version, or you may bring a fairly polished prototype (you can’t show up with a laptop displaying a 3D rendering).
  • Your startup must be pre-Series A.
  • Your product must be scalable, repeatable — i.e., not a consultancy.
  • Read more…


Mediating the relationship between society and technology

The O'Reilly Radar Podcast: Suw Charman-Anderson on Ada Lovelace Day, STEM, and the state of social media.

Subscribe to the O’Reilly Radar Podcast to track the technologies and people that will shape our world in the years to come.


In this week’s episode, O’Reilly’s Mac Slocum chats with Suw Charman-Anderson, journalist, consultant, and founder of Ada Lovelace Day. Their wide-ranging conversation touches on why Charman-Anderson founded Ada Lovelace Day and why it has been so successful. She also talks about the state of social media, and the past, present, and future of blogging.

Here are a few highlights from their chat:

The first Ada Lovelace Day was a day of blogging about women in tech. It was the 24th of March in 2009, which was a completely random date I had picked because I was impatient and I wanted it to happen soon. It just really took off immediately. I was quite astonished, actually. I thought it would be me and a couple of mates and we’d have a little blog thing going and that would be that. In the end, it was huge. … I think it really hit a nerve. I think there were a lot of women who were angry about the state of play and about the issues around conferences.

The main problem, not just for me but for other organizations dealing with women in STEM, is funding.

I’m a big fan of cross-pollination between different disciplines. I think there are lessons there as well for technology. Technology moves very fast, but we need to think long term about the impacts on society. We all need to be a part of that debate. That doesn’t happen enough. We tend to be very focused on who’s just done an IPO, and who’s just launched, what the new Apple device is, and all the rest of it. We need to, as a broad community, also be thinking about the long-term impacts societally, in terms of how we are bringing in different points of view. This is where diversity becomes important because different people have different experiences of the world. That should inform a longer debate on how we want to mediate the relationship between society and technology. Read more…

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Airbnb’s design approach

The O’Reilly Design Podcast: Katie Dill on designing for seven billion people, hiring good people, and the triforce.

Subscribe to the O’Reilly Design Podcast, our podcast exploring how experience design — and experience designers — are shaping business, the Internet of Things, and other domains.


In this week’s Design Podcast episode, I chat it up with Katie Dill, head of experience design at Airbnb. Dill talks about Airbnb’s values; the relationship between design, engineering, and product management; and what Airbnb looks for when hiring. Dill also will be keynoting at O’Reilly’s inaugural Design Conference.

Here are a few highlights from our conversation:

We have a few different ways of looking at the values that are behind our work and the way we do our work, and the team behind it. For a starting point, our company has core values. There are six points, which are actually on our website, that drive the values of all the people that work here. Some of which are things like championing the mission or embracing the adventure and having an entrepreneurial spirit.

Pretty much behind all the design work — and the thinking and processes of the people that work here — are three values we hold dear: being a host, simplifying, and every frame matters. Those three become really powerful in our design decisions and we translate that to our work. So, in being a host, we think about how we use the digital platforms that we design for to help people along in their journey, to invite them into an experience or a new part of the world. … Even our content choices, the language that we use, we try to make it really comforting, accessible, very human, just like a host would. That same thing goes with simplify. We want to be clear and to the point, and so we reduce the noise. Every frame matters references the frames of a storyboard, so every frame meaning that every point in the journey matters. … It’s not just about one screen that someone looks at or it’s not just about the app; it’s not just about one moment in time.

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Joe Biron on what’s new about the IoT

The IoT entails a flexible platform approach to accommodate new applications that haven’t been conceived yet.

Subscribe to the O’Reilly Solid Podcast for insight and analysis about the Internet of Things and the worlds of hardware, software, and manufacturing.

350px-Fan_blades_and_inlet_guide_vanes_of_GEnx-2BMachines have been able to talk to each other and to computers for a long time, so what’s the big deal with the IoT? That’s the first question I ask Joe Biron, my guest on this episode of the Solid Podcast. Biron is VP of IoT technology at ThingWorx, a PTC business that offers a platform for rapid development of Internet of Things applications.

The answer, says Joe, is that where the machine-to-machine (M2M) model is stovepiped and specialized, the IoT entails a platform approach. Machines on the IoT are abstracted, which makes decentralized application development possible. And it’s more flexible: the platform will eventually be able to accommodate new applications that haven’t been conceived yet. Read more…