Enterprise Docker

Docker announces enterprise expansion amid news of CoreOS competition

Coman Hamilton
Docker CEO Ben Golub at the DockerCon 14 in Amdsterdam. © Joni Israeli / Docker

After his opening keynote at the European Docker conference, CEO Ben Golub talked to JAXenter about Docker’s new enterprise solution and the news of competition from CoreOS.

Docker has announced a new enterprise solution at the European Docker conference in Amsterdam. “Docker Hub Enterprise” (DHE) will add key workflow capabilities for developers and sysadmins managing a dynamic lifecycle behind the enterprise firewall. Docker has so far been funded by capital and, as of June, paid support, and DHE marks an effort to establish a monetize its business.

Docker has also announced orchestration of multi-container distributed applications, designed to manage a new generation of portable distributed applications. In addition Docker unveiled three new orchestration services: Machine, Swarm and Compose.

Docker Machine gives the user the flexibility to provision any host with the Docker Engine, thereby expanding the portability capabilities of distributed applications. Ultimately this will save time spent on manual setup and custom scripting.

Docker Swarm is a Docker-native clustering service that works with the Docker Engines to create a resource pool of the hosts that your distributed application runs on. Essentially its ability to automatically schedule container workloads and allocate resources will mean better performance and availability, while eliminating errors in manual resource management.

Docker Compose gives developers the ability to assemble applications from discrete, interoperable Docker containers completely independent of any underlying infrastructure. This means you can deploy distributed application stacks anywhere and move them at any time. The complicated processes involved with defining the dependencies of a distributed application stack is made simpler by the YAML configuration file.

Docker for Enterprises

Simultaneously Docker have announced that IBM and Microsoft will help Docker bring its DHE to market. Described by Docker as a turnkey solution for enterprises, DHE will provide a means for companies to store, manage and collaborate on Docker images.

In addition to support and securityDHE hopes to lure enterprises away from their VMs with the following features:

  • Resumable push/pull of images
  • Flexible storage capabilities
  • Local filesystem, in-memory and Amazon S3 by default
  • Architected for expanded application lifecycle capabilities

Architected for high-availability and horizontal scalability, Docker wants DHE to make sure that enterprises “don’t lose too much sleep.”

“Docker tends to get adopted by developers, and then it gets to a certain scale and then the Ops guys call us and say ‘We want help.'” Golub told JAXenter after his opening keynote. “We’ve got 200 enterprises basically on the waiting list for Docker Hub Enterprise already.”

A shadow over the European Docker conference

ben golub Docker CEO

“Competition is good.” Docker CEO Ben Golub. © Joni Israeli / Docker

Several other nuggets of interesting Docker news already emerged earlier this week, notably that Docker is soon to work on Windows, SmartOS and in 32 bit. But most prominently, the Docker conference seemed somewhat overshadowed by the news of Rocket, a CoreOS alternative to Docker. Indeed the positioning of the CoreOS announcement just before the start of the European Docker conference is somewhat aggressive.

“I wish the timing wasn’t like this,” Golub told JAXenter. But the transition to containers will mean good things for a lot of people, the CEO says optimistically. “This is a big enough market and there’s plenty of room for Docker and many others.”

Docker and Rocket are ‘different’

“They have some technical concerns that they need to address,” says Golub about Rocket, which was first posted to Github on Monday. “Fundamentally what they are saying is they want Docker to be just a container and not all these higher-level functions. And our answer is ‘You can use Docker as just a container!’ But the vast majority of users are telling us they want more. So we’re going to deliver them a complete solution where they can pick and choose.”

“I also think that if you’re using a single Docker container you can put anything inside it. You can move it around and use 18,000 different tools from the ecosystem to manage it. And there’s some vendors out there that don’t like that because they want everything to work well on their infrastructure or their tools. And it’s fine for them to do that. But we’re promoting a different model.”

Golub also doesn’t seem fazed by the noise of growing competition. In fact, Golub and his marketing head David Messina hadn’t even some new container players like Terminal. For all the noise about Rocket as a “Docker killer”, the product itself is just about a prototype. And while it must compete with an ecosystem of 18,000 Docker tools, Docker is already solidifying its move into enterprise.

Coman Hamilton
Coman was Editor of at S&S Media Group. He has a master's degree in cultural studies and has written and edited content for numerous news, tech and culture websites and magazines, as well as several ad agencies.

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