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Operating Systems Software Linux

Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World 129

New submitter Jason Baker writes: With the rise of Docker containers as an alternative for deploying complex server-based applications, one might wonder, does the operating system even matter anymore? Certainly the question gets asked periodically. Gordon Haff makes the argument on Opensource.com that the operating system is still very much alive and kicking, and that a hardened, tuned, reliable operating system is just as important to the success of applications as it was in the pre-container data center.
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Operating Systems Still Matter In a Containerized World

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  • Of Course They Do! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @12:27AM (#47709607)

    Stripped to the bone, an operating system is a set of APIs that abstract the real or virtual hardware to make applications buildable by mere mortals. Some work better than others under various circumstances, so the OS matters no matter where it's running.

  • by DivineKnight ( 3763507 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @12:32AM (#47709629)

    I can't wait for programmers, sometime in 2020, to rediscover the performance boost they receive running an OS on 'bare metal'...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @01:04AM (#47709731)

    Yet another containerized OS independent thingy....

    Look, these OS wrappers all fail because ultimately they deliver the subset of an OS, and are 1 generation behind. So the OSes add features and the container adds it when *all* of the underlying OS's they support have adopted similar features enabling the wrapper to add it.

    So they're always behind, and always a subset of functionality.

    And nobody uses them, well except for a few niche apps, because being behind your competitors isn't a viable option.

    Marketing docker this way won't help it. It faces this big problem and its not a new problem and they're not the first to try this.

  • Re:Advert? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @01:35AM (#47709819)

    Is this just an advert for Docker?

    Yes. They refer to the "rise" of Docker, yet I had never heard of it before. Furthermore, Docker doesn't even fit with the main point of TFA that "the OS doesn't matter". Here is a complete, exhaustive list of all the OSes that Docker can run on:

    1. Linux

  • by Chirs ( 87576 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2014 @02:30AM (#47710017)

    Anything performance-sensitive isn't going to use emulation but rather paravirtualization or passthrough of physical devices. Current x86 virtualization is getting pretty good, with minimal hit to CPU-intensive code. As for I/O, you can pass through PCI devices in to the guest for pretty-much native networking performance.

    Disk I/O still isn't as good as native, but it's good enough, and most enterprise systems are using ISCSI anyway to allow for efficient live migration.

Someday somebody has got to decide whether the typewriter is the machine, or the person who operates it.