Cloud-Based Docker Container Service from Rackspace

Rackspace has jumped into the containers-as-a-service field in a big way with the announcement of a hosted Docker-based container service for the cloud called Carina.

Currently available as a beta offering to customers based in the US, Carina provides a managed implementation of Docker containers. Rackspace describes it as “instant-on” container solution that saves customers from having to build, manage, and update a container environment manually.

Rackspace is presenting Carina as a pure-play version of Docker. The service uses Docker’s native API for tooling, Docker Swarm for orchestration and the Docker engine itself for running containers. That approach “provides developers the freedom to easily move applications from development to test to production environments, while helping to reduce errors and saving time,” the company said.

Carina & Rackspace

In announcing Carina, Rackspace also emphasized the “bare-metal performance” that it can deliver. That’s not because Carina works differently from other container environments, of course. The whole point of containers—or at least one of their big advantages—is that, unlike traditional virtual machines, they don’t require a hypervisor, which entails a performance penalty. Carina is not unique in that respect.

Still, the fact that Rackspace is playing up the performance advantages of its containers-as-a-service offering suggests that it may see Carina as a way to attract customers who have been hesitant to adopt other cloud-based solutions because of performance concerns. For those users, a hosted container service may be worth investigating, and not just because “containers” have become a favorite buzzword.