Richard Bucker

Just Not a Lot of Interest in It

Posted at — Aug 25, 2021

Watching the “FreeBSD bhyve intro” on youtube and Grehan made the statement. “just not a lot of interest in it”. He was refering to docker not compiling for over 9 months and some use-cases for bhyve. And as I wander around recursively in the argument for containers and VMs I come to the same place…

what sort of interest is really needed?

I start with the concept of “cattle not pets” seasoned with “configuration as code” and I find myself getting wrapped around the chicken and egg.

“cattle no pets” came from the Rancher team many years ago and it was meant to signify re-orchestration of the platform such that any realized/running system was not sacred. “Configuration as code” was meant for the orchestration or the blueprint for replacing cows as needed. One interesting feature of kubernetes is that it has a model of what the platform is supposed to look like and then allocates the resources and deployments to match… in a way self healing. (one thing I do not like about configuration as code is that it does not age well, new designs and features, and destroying installations can be just as complicated; and there is always a chicken and the egg problem with platform configuration)

As for the “interest” I’m always asking myself why are containers like Docker or hypervisors even a thing? What do we really need them for? Can we get along without them? Are we cross compiling any more? Linux is adding Millions of LOC every year. Microsoft made that famous. OpenBSD strips the code down whenever they can. FreeBSD is a battleship and so on…

The fact that there is a lack of interest in these corners feels like there is either apathy or some other solution that they are not talking about. Let’s start with scale… is all of this necessary or are chroot and jail good enough? Chances it’s good enough. The fact of the matter is that these systems are not that big and not that complicated. We need fewer dials.