Concept First Blog

A small IT consultancy, using .NET and Ruby / Rails, doing CRM Dynamics, web and server integration

Windows Gets Docker

As I mentioned before, I really believe Docker would help the windows ecosystem. All my clients end up having loads of server boxes, doing nothing, with 1 app per box, just to keep the isolated so nothing breaks something else.

Docker gets all the advantages of virtual machines, within out the overhead, making better use of hardware, saving money, burning less fuel, and causing world peace ;–)

Microsoft have just announced a partnership with Docker to add the necessary OS support for container deployment !!

They have obviosuly been researching this for a while, see this MS research project Drawbridge

Azure Lessons

I’ve spent a frustrating week trying to get a legacy app running against SQL Server into the Microsoft Azure cloud.

Here are the things I wish I knew before I started:

Leaflet Map With Google Maps and Geolocation

Here is a leaflet.js map, using plugins to show various sources including OpenStreetmap, MapBox and Google Maps. It also includes a search facility using the OSM geolocator.

It’s mostly here for my own development use. You can pass a lat/lng on the query string to auto centre and zoom the mapp when loaded, e.g. lat=51.5&lng=0&zoom=16 gives us greenwich

There Has Got to Be a Better Term Than Technical Debt

Technical Debt is a common term used in IT circles, and a useful metaphor when discussing planning and tradeoffs (although too often I fear management don’t understand the interest repayments side of it)

Want I want is a term that is more easily understood by non technical business users and management, something which says to them “Your half considered last minute must have change is going to leave the system in a right bloody mess, and its going to take lots of time and effort in the future to clean it up”, but in a nice punchy phrase.

Any ideas ? Some word to do with foundations, rotting, derelict, decay, structurally unsound, negleted, condemned ?

Windows Needs Docker

I’ve been using Docker a lot recently when setting up our Linux main server. If you’ve never used it is, I highly recommend it. It is a way of compartmentising your software. You run software in its own docker containers, they share the same machine, but are isolated from each other, can have different versions of common dependancies (like dlls).

Its like have lots of VMs running, without the massive overhead of running virtual machines.

It’s built on Linux kernel features that allow processes to be isolated from each other (having their own network stack, etc) and union file systems that isolate the file systems efficiently from each other.

Microsoft Windows really needs this. Every client I’ve worked with ends up having loads of Windows servers, all running at 1% utilisation, just so everything is isolated, and that one version of SQL Server won’t break another version, or that the latest version of the C++ runtime breaks a product you bought 3 years ago …

Unfortunately the Win32 API doesn’t have the features to implement it presently, and the Jobs API that looked like it could be the way to go, seems recently to have been depreciated and not fully supported in each version of the OS (just search stack overflow for all the problems).

Lets hope Microsoft feel the pressure from Linux on this, but they probably too busy relaunching Bing or rebranding Windows Phone 7.5 Embedded Mobile CE to notice.