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Wanting to run Docker in a VM? Find out how!


 By guest blogger, Ka Wai Leung, Principal Product Manager – HPE CDI Solutions Ka Wai.pngProduct Management

Companies looking to deploy Docker containers in production that are stable, enterprise-ready should consider using Docker Datacenter (DDC) with HPE, which is the commercially supported version of Docker. DDC is the foundation for building containers as a service and includes these components:

  • Docker Universal Control Plane (UCP) for orchestration and management of the Docker environment
  • Docker Trusted Registry (DTR) for secured Docker image management and collaboration
  • Commercially supported Docker Engine, which is the runtime deployed on each UCP node

The two most popular methods of Docker deployment are running Docker containers inside VMs or via bare metal. Ultimately, the decision will be based on the needs of the business. These needs include: terms of resource efficiency, application security and management, existing deployment processes and best practices, comfort level with containers, and CapEx/OpEx considerations.

Compute Power – Infrastructure does matter!

For those looking to deploy Docker containers inside VMs and have rapid scale out plans, the HPE Hyper Converged 380 powered by Intel® is a viable choice due to its ease of scalability, simplicity, fast VM provisioning, and built-in life cycle management.  The HPE Hyper Converged 380 allows mid-sized bigstock-Technology--120005471.jpgbusinesses and enterprise branch offices to deploy and maintain their VM environment easily without hiring IT specialists.

In addition, the following HPE Hyper Converged 380 features can accelerate and improve the deployment of Docker inside VMs:

  • Users can deploy a Docker container, a Docker UCP node, or a DTR template to a VM within a HPE Hyper Converged 380 cluster in just 5 clicks.
  • The HPE Hyper Converged 380 gives you built-in data protection and replication capabilities such as snapshots and network RAID--and all the high availability and data protection features from VMware. This makes your Docker container data highly resilient and available.
  • You can scale this container platform with little effort. Start a Docker POC or trial using a 2 node starter HPE Hyper Converged 380 cluster and scale up to 16 nodes or multiple HPE Hyper Converged 380 clusters, as needed. You can add HC380 nodes to accommodate additional Docker container loads without bring down the cluster.
  • Many companies are adopting DevOps. Container technology is often a key component of a company’s DevOps strategy and essential to a CI/CD process. The HPE Hyper Converged 380 is an ideal DevOps platform due to features such as cloning, adoptive optimization, and fast VDI DevOps desktop dispensing. For more information about the benefits of these features to a DevOps environment, click here.

Monitoring – Health checks matter!

As Docker containers are deployed into a production environment, it is important to monitor their health, such as critical events that will ensure continuous availability and proper diagnostics. Many traditional monitoring tools can’t peak inside a container, nor are they able to correlate events within a container. Customers can use HPE SiteScope, an agentless monitoring solution, to monitor Docker container events.  The Dynamic Docker monitor enables you to monitor the health and performance statistics of a Docker environment, from the cluster manager level through the Docker daemon layer, to the container level and applications that run inside the containers. It also monitors the health of the cluster manager and each Docker node. You can choose to monitor a single Docker node, a full cluster, or several nodes on a cluster.

Best of all, SiteScope supports both Docker and non-Docker environments. SiteScope can monitor and collect server and application health across physical, virtual, cloud, and container infrastructures. You can leverage SiteScope as your central event console for your entire environment without having to deal with multiple monitoring consoles

HPE has encapsulated many of the above procedures and best practices in a reference architecture using a 3 node HPE Hyper Converged 380 with HPE SiteScope. The focus of this reference configuration is to outline the deployment and provide architectural guidance for deploying, scaling, and monitoring a Docker Datacenter environment running inside VMs on a HPE Hyper Converged 380.  This reference configuration can help IT gain insights on deploying Docker Datacenter on HPE’s hyper converged platforms.


For teams looking to run DDC on a virtualized platform that they can grow into and monitor effectively, the combination of HPE Hyper Converged 380 and SiteScope should be a viable consideration.  If you are interested in learning about Docker on HPE Hyper Converged 380, please see this fact sheet

For more information on Docker, click here. And details on the HPE and Docker partnership can be found here.

Ka Wai Leung

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