Docker announced this morning that it has acquired Unikernal Systems, a UK-based company that is focused (as the name suggests) on unikernal development. So what are unikernals and why did Docker buy this company?
Unikernals are logical stablemates for containers, constructed by combining application code with the operating system components that are necessary for that code to run. Unikernals create specialized, single-purpose packages that have the benefit of being lightweight and readily deployed. As such, unikernals lend themselves to the obvious cloud applications, but also to the increasingly important internet of things area. Portable applications, small footprints, and fast boot times are all natural traits of a unikernal approach.