Docker and Wasm Working Together? Find Out How at Wasm Day NA

Oct 19 2022

Wasm is awesome docker

Editor’s note: The Docker+Wasm Technical Preview is now available. Find out more about the preview and try it for yourself!

You may have seen some hype around WebAssembly, or Wasm, as it’s often called. It’s a relatively new technology that allows you to compile application code written in languages like Rust, C, C++, Javascript, and Golang to byte code, then run it inside a sandboxed environment.

So why all the hype? Well, those sandboxed environments can run in a large variety of locations — including your web browser using a Javascript virtual machine. Not only does this mean the sandbox benefits from billions of dollars of investment in security, speed, and cross compatibility, it also means you can run existing code in your browser with some minor changes. And before you ask, yes, it can run Doom.

But running Doom in the browser is just one use case. Companies like WasmEdge are using Tensorflow to push the boundaries of what can be run with Wasm. Fermyon is building tools for Wasm to be used in microservices, while Vercel, Fastly, Shopify, and Cloudflare use Wasm for running code at the edge. Figma is using Wasm to provide higher performance in the browser for their application, and their new parent company Adobe is bringing their desktop applications to the Web using Wasm.

If all those examples don’t excite you about what’s possible with Wasm, I’m not sure what will!

How do Docker and Wasm fit together?

So what is Docker doing with Wasm? We see Wasm and containers as complementary technologies. The problem you’re solving will make one or the other more applicable, but they’re compatible, and should work well together in your cloud native application.

It really comes down to the use case. For example, Wasm’s quick startup time is great for short lived operations, and its isolation is a good match when you need strict security guarantees enforceable at the code level. But as of now, it doesn’t have multithreading or garbage collection capabilities, so any use case with those requirements isn’t a good fit. It also requires that you rebuild your software from source to work.

Join Docker at Cloud Native Wasm Day

We’ll be at the Cloud Native Wasm Day NA in Detroit on October 24, as a Diamond sponsor, to talk about how we’re providing developers the tooling they need using development experiences they already know and love.

Justin Cormack, our CTO, will be presenting during the keynote. In his presentation, he’ll talk about how the container, Docker, and cloud native communities are embracing Wasm — and give some insights as to where we can go from here. If you’ve never seen him speak, I highly recommend it!

Michael Yuan (WasmEdge) and I will also be giving a talk to show how WASI and container workloads work together in Docker Desktop. You’ll find out when to use Wasm, the current tooling options for Wasm, and how to use Docker and Wasm together. You can check out the GitHub repo for the talk or download the Docker + Wasm preview to try it for yourself!

If you’re attending the Cloud Native Wasm Day don’t miss our keynote and talk!

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