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Google offers cloudy port for Docker container images

Park your images on the same storage your app uses

Google has expanded its support for Docker-based Linux containers on its Cloud Platform, with the addition of a new, cloud-based hosting service for private container registries.

The Chocolate Factory certainly isn't the first firm to offer hosted private Docker registries. Docker itself does, for one, as does CoreOS via its Quay subsidiary. But Google says its new Container Registry service offers several advantages for its cloud customers.

For one thing, with Google's scheme, your private Docker images are hosted on Google Cloud Storage under the same account that you're using to stage your projects on the Google Cloud Platform. By definition, it has the same security as the project itself; only your project's members will be able to access your container images.

All private images stored via the service are also automatically encrypted for additional security before they are written to disk.

The images are then cached in Google's data centers so that they are available for rapid deployment to cloud clusters via the company's Andromeda network virtualization tech – including to the new, container-optimized Google Compute Engine machine images.

In other words, if you're already planning to host your application on Google's cloud, Google Container Registry will likely prove to be the most efficient way to host and maintain your private container images.

The new service is only Google's latest move to support containerization and Docker in its cloud. In November, it announced Google Container Engine, a hosted version of the Kubernetes container management software, which has its roots in the Chocolate Factory's own data center infrastructure.

Indeed, as interest in containerization has grown, Google has been making sure its customers know that it has been using container technologies extensively for several years – and in fact, several of the Linux kernel components that Docker relies on were originally contributed by Google.

That's not to say that Google is the only public cloud provider flying the containerization flag, though. Amazon Web Services similarly announced extensive support for containers and Docker last year, and even Microsoft Azure wants in on the action.

One thing about Google's new container support, though, is that the price is right. As with Google Container Engine, Google Cloud Platform customers who want to experiment with Google Container Registry during its early days can do so at no additional charge, other than the fees for the networking and storage resources that their private images consume. ®

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