When asked, "Will Amazon Support Linux Containers?" Raj comments, "Would love it. We may see a type of instance which allows containers on it. You will have to take the whole machine and not just a container on it. That way AWS will not have to bother about maintaining the host OS. Given the complexities I think it will be a lower priority for Amazon and as it may be financially counterproductive; they may never do it."
Tom comments, "I doubt it. While I'm one of, if not *the*, biggest proponent of linux containers, the business reasoning still lags the technical reasoning. Intel, for instance, would *hate* such a move. Why? They spent a ton of money on virtualization at a chip level, which becomes a non-issue in containers (no hardware gets shared at the metal, rather, it's all one kernel for all containers). So, while it would be a great thing to see, the business market simply doesn't support this at this point, other than for folks like Pixar or other compute heavy folks.
What I *would* bet on is that AWS internally switches to some container based systems. For instance, ElasticMapReduce is far better off in a container world than in a VM world. Easier to maintain, direct access to 'cpu speed' and no need to virtualize access to disks -- it's all just there (even ISCSI ends up better in containers -- no 'vm to hypervisor' network translations)."
Amazon will likely be forced into one of three positions:
1. Delivering sub-optimal platform performance on VM's (current state)
2. Supporting Linux Containers behind the scenes but not giving customer access to it.
3. Delivering Linux Containers to customers and dealing with a whole new set of technical headaches.
I'm more optimistic than my counterparts on the likelihood of #3. My reasons are simple: First, Amazon has done what they needed to do to satisfy customer needs. Second, I think they'll need to do it to remain competitive with companies like Rackspace. As developers move from "needing a vm" to "needing a platform" (database, app server, etc.), Amazon will be pressed to expose a more highly performant layer to platform developers. One thing my associates and I agreed on is that we will not likely see containers in 2012... perhaps 2013?