Topic 4: The Virtualized World of Containers


One of the things we might start to realize is that APIs enable applications to share and write data to various applications in more sophisticated, streamlined ways in a server environment that is entirely managed “in the cloud.” Now add to these “new” realities server infrastructure that can be spun up or down nearly instantaneously for a single application that can scale and is eminently portable. You don’t import and export data anymore, you simply migrate entire server environments. The idea of moving infrastructure around in a fundamentally different model, much like you can imagine for container ship in The Wire:

The above clip from The Wire (excuse the expletives) makes the case why containers have revolutionized that shipping industry—like we heard in the Ambersons clip, like it or not the Future is Now! As a downside, his clip underscores the horrors of automating labor and the loss of jobs at Baltimore’s port.

How would such a look at services like Docker for IT infrastructure in terms of their costs and benefits?


Hmm, automized labor = progress (?) and a loss of jobs in this way may save $$$ in #HigherEd, which is a goal of technology, no?

I know, adjunct-speak (contingency) here, but should #HE really somehow be different than other parts of the market economy?!

I know, still fueled by my political exasperation today, but here is a shiny object for this conversation going right back to the opening welcome, we can all get a free Docker t-shirt.. Sweet.



Fact is, cost savings in one place could mean more jobs in another. In this regard, if you can manage your server infrastructure for less, more efficiently, wouldn’t that enable you to invest more in faculty positions, edtech support, etc.? Theoretically, yes. But the bigger issue with higher ed you refer to here is austerity, and we see the pernicious effects of this at their logical extreme in Flint , Michigan. Institutions disinvesting in their own infrastructure. I would argue a refusal to acknowledge the changing ways we should be managing infrastructure would be far more expensive to ignore over time.