Container technology, such as Docker Container, is gaining momentum and being widely adopted by software companies as a mechanism to deploy software.  Virtual machines( VM) and VM appliances have been the standard way to deploy when isolating computing environments. Virtual machines rely on underlying layer which runs on the bare machine and are known as hypervisors. Hypervisors such VMware, Citrix or Microsoft can host different guest operating systems such as linux or Windows. Each guest operating environment provides as isolated environment for applications to run, thereby ensuring SLAs for the applications. Also, the applications can be packaged as VM appliances for rapid deployment. Container technology is built with similar goals without relying on hypervisor and guest operating system. In the same OS environment container layer enables different containers to run with isolation. Containers allow a developer to package up an application with all the part that it needs, such as libraries and other dependencies, and ship it out as one package. 

The benefits of containers are the following:

Isolation – Just like VM environment a container environment provides isolation to the containers guaranteeing the resources it needs. In case of malfunction of one container other containers are not affected.

Consistency – Container provides the consistency of the environment for the application. The developer environment and the production environment will be identical when the container built and tested in development is run in production.

Rapid Deployment – A packaged container can be deployed in seconds as all the dependencies are captured in a unit. It reduces installation time for software eliminating lengthy install cycles.

GFS Crane DCIM is a policy-based software for data center infrastructure management. GFS Crane DCIM monitors devices, facilities as well as IT, in the data center enabling data center managers to track the health of all critical devices. It provides features to report on data from these devices as well generate alarms when thresholds are crossed. GFS Crane DCIM provides a view of the data center floor with real time data super-imposed on the devices. GFS Crane also tracks and displays critical metrics such as PuE. PuE and other metrics can be displayed on customized dashboard.  Its asset management module allows easy addition, configuration of assets and their relationship and provides alerts for preventive maintenance schedule. It also has features for capacity planning and “what if” analysis.

GFS Crane DCIM  consists of several modules:

Data collection module – The data collection module gathers data from a multitude of devices in the data center such as PDUs, iPDUs, transformers, panels, UPS etc. by using wire protocols such as SNMP, MODBUS or Bacnet/IP. This module fetches the data and stores in a database. This module also contains the alarm engine, which notifies users in case threshold is crossed for parameters that are on watchlist.

Application module – The application module contains the code for reporting, dashboard, capacity planning, asset configuration, layout etc. The user primarily interacts with this module. The module extracts the data already stored in database.

The database module – GFS stores all metadata and device data in a relational database such as MySql or MariaDB. This module comprises the database schema and stored procedures.

GFS now ships with three pre-built containers : Data collector, Application and Database, which can be rapidly deployed on the container platform. With this transformation GFS :

          – Has reduced deployment time significantly

          –Ensured consistency between developer environment and production environment

          – Made efficient use of hardware resources

      GFS has demonstrated that with container deployment of its software it can do effective continuous development of software and shorten development to production lifecycle resulting in improved customer satisfaction