CloudStream — An Application Streaming Docker Framework

cloudstream
An interactive linux desktop in a web browser.
(Click to enlarge.)

In November of 2015, Unidata released CloudIDV, a cloud-optimized version of the IDV. Viewable through a web browser, CloudIDV is novel for several reasons:

  • CloudIDV uses Docker technology to enable running in the cloud.
  • CloudIDV is self-contained; only Docker is required to run it.
  • CloudIDV is, as the name implies, cloud-enabled. When run in a remote environment, it can be accessed via a web browser.
  • CloudIDV is full featured; it contains all functionality found in the standard IDV.

CloudStream — Your  software in the cloud

Since releasing CloudIDV, our community has expressed interest in the underlying application-streaming technology. In the words of one developer, "We all have legacy software that we'd like to support on new devices." Motivated by this astute observation, we have released CloudStream. CloudStream is essentially the CloudIDV package, but without the IDV. CloudStream allows a developer or scientist to easily package software and/or a custom linux environment in such a way that it becomes ready for use in the cloud. Thanks to Docker, building software for use with CloudStream is no more difficult than configuring and building software in any standard Linux environment.

Note: Providing specific instructions for using CloudStream is outside the scope of this blog post; Instructions and examples of CloudStream-based projects are provided at the project page on GitHub. An annotated template for creating CloudStream-based Docker images is also provided.

As with the CloudIDV package, CloudStream is completely functional and in active development. We invite our community to use CloudStream to build application-streaming enabled images and to contact us with any problems, feedback or suggestions! You may contact the CloudStream developer, Ward Fisher, via email at wfisher@ucar.edu or through the project webpage at http://github.com/Unidata/cloudstream.

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