Over a decade of experience in containers?

Docker got founded in 2013, so how come you have over a decade of experience in container technologies – my friend asked?

It’s correct that Docker got founded in 2013, but the major turning point in kernel development was during 2008 when (1) cgroups (2) user namespace (3) LXC got added to the Linux kernel and permitted the Docker ecosystem to exist and flourish.

My journey with Linux containers started around 2006-ish when I discovered OpenVZ, container-based virtualization for Linux (bit popular among budget shared hosting folks). This custom kernel allowed me to host my internet-facing hobby websites in my homelab with a more increased level of immutability.

Things with OpenVZ were not as easy as “docker pull nginx” and “docker run nginx” but it definitely allowed me to review my deployments and upgrade/reset them often.

With this same mindset of immutability & reproducibility, I later implemented a “docker build” like CI/CD pipeline at work. Our build process for an extremely complex portal-app would always start with an empty folder and then build layer-by-layer. The final consolidated artifact is then deployed to target servers using what we used to call “zip-ship-unzip”. This was a game-changer for build quality and platform stability.

Over the next few years, I did lots of exploration of the container ecosystem, had Docker, Swarm, Vanilla Kubernetes, Openshift, Mesosphere, etc installed in lab spaces for various experimentations and internal demos. I was also asked to lead the working group responsible for Docker security baselines and streamline its operational practices; and evaluate vendor products for container security scanning.

Please check this great reference below if you want to read more about the complete history.