Eurecom goes from "tens of minutes" with Openstack to seconds with Docker Swarm

Background

EURECOM is a Graduate school and Research Centre in Communication Systems located in the Sophia Antipolis technology park (French Riviera), a major European place for telecommunications activities.  It was founded in 1991 in a consortium form that allowed EURECOM to build a large network of renowned academic and industrial partners. EURECOM research teams are made up of international experts, recruited at the highest level, whose work is regularly honored and has earned international recognition. 


Challenges

EURECOM was looking to build out their application called Zoe. Zoe is an application scheduler, and a scheduler is something that you need whenever you have more demand than offer. So you need a piece of software that sits in the middle and decides which requests have more priority. The team was using OpenStack before Docker. And had to choose between continuing to use OpenStack or to start with a new application built on something else.


Solution

EURECOM first started looking at Docker in 2013, when they were making the decision between OpenStack and Docker. They decided to build their Zoe applications on top of Swarm, because OpenStack was no longer sufficient for their needs. They use Swarm to manage and prioritize requests that come into the application. By switching to Docker, they saw immediate benefits. One is the speed. With OpenStack, it took the Eurecom team tens of minutes to create a cluster, when they tried to do exactly the same thing with Swarm, and it only took seconds. They are very happy with Docker Swarm, in particular with the updates made in the Swarm 1.0 release. The team is planning to do a lot of development on top of Swarm. The company is also looking into Docker Compose, which enables enterprises to deploy multi-container applications onto node clusters, since it overlaps quite a bit with their projects, which involve creating clusters of several connected applications. .


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  • "Coming from OpenStack, where it takes even tens of minutes to create a cluster, we tried to do exactly the same thing with Swarm, and it took seconds. And this was mind-blowing for us. And then we have our users that are free to try and test new things, because they are able to write Docker files." - Daniele Venzano, Research Engineer at EURECOM