The first Docker Enterprise release under its new Mirantis home, DE 3.1, fits the business-oriented containerisation platform with GPU support, Istio Ingress, and a new deployment helper.
Looking through its own post on the matter, the Docker Enterprise team seems to have been especially focused on the Kubernetes-related functionalities of the platform, which is something Mirantis CEO Adrian Ionel already hinted at after the Docker Enterprise acquisition was announced in November 2019.
Docker Enterprise now, for example, comes with the “ability to easily add Windows worker nodes to a Kubernetes cluster and manage them just as you would manage traditional Linux nodes with UCP.” The integrated Kubernetes version was also upgraded to 1.17, which is just one version behind the latest official release and provides additional features such as IPv4/IPv6 dual stack support, and topology-aware routing.
To expose as little of a Kubernetes cluster as possible to its environment, Enterprise 3.1 includes Istio Ingress. The tool can be used instead of Kubernetes Ingress to control traffic coming into a cluster, and allows configuration via the Docker universal control plane.
Other than that, GPU support, which has been part of Kubernetes since v1.10 (as beta, but still), has been highlighted as one of the standout features of this release. This could open the platform to those looking to push computationally heavy tasks like model training for machine learning into the containerised world.
According to Mirantis, once a node has been configured accordingly, “Docker Kubernetes Service automatically recognizes the node as GPU-enabled, and deployments requiring or able to use this specialized capacity can be tagged and configured to seek it out.”
What’s striking about the release announcement is the fact that Docker’s own orchestrator, Swarm, only got one negligible mention, which boosts the impression that it won’t have that much of a future at Mirantis.
By contrast, the company seems to work hard at infusing the tool with its own flavour, throwing things like a beta for the Mirantis Launchpad into the mix. The CLI tool is meant to facilitate the configuration, deployment, tearing down, and updating of clusters on most infrastructures, though its current area of application is restricted to Docker Enterprise deployments only.