Containers and clusters for edge cloud architectures - A technology review
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Cloud technology is moving towards more distribution across multi-clouds and the inclusion of various devices, as evident through IoT and network integration in the context of edge cloud and fog computing. Generally, lightweight virtualisation solutions are beneficial for this architectural setting with smaller, but still virtualised devices to host application and platform services, and the logistics required to manage this. Containerisation is currently discussed as a lightweight virtualisation solution. In addition to having benefits over traditional virtual machines in the cloud in terms of size and flexibility, containers are specifically relevant for platform concerns typically dealt with Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) clouds such as application packaging and orchestration. For the edge cloud environment, application and service orchestration can help to manage and orchestrate applications through containers as an application packaging mechanism. We review edge cloud requirements and discuss the suitability container and cluster technology of that arise from having to facilitate applications through distributed multi-cloud platforms build from a range of networked nodes ranging from data centres to small devices, which we refer to here as edge cloud.