Interview with Peter Rossbach

“Docker’s speed of delivery can be a very annoying aspect for potential partners”

Gabriela Motroc
Peter Rossbach

Discussions about a possible Docker fork have taken the industry by storm. We have the group which supports Docker 1.12 and points out its strengths and the group which claims that what the world needs right now is “boring core infrastructure.” We asked Peter Rossbach, freelance system architect and coach of numerous web applications, to weigh in on this Docker fork discussion.

The discussions about a possible Docker fork are gaining momentum. People are stating their views on this issue via Twitter, Medium, personal blogs,forums and more and pro- and anti-Docker fork groups are being formed.

Daniel Riek, Senior Director, Systems Design and Engineering at Red Hat, has joined the discussion; he claims that a Docker fork is not the solution, but acknowledges that “the importance of this conflict cannot be under-estimated.” Riek believes that the tensions have started to bubble up due to “the aggressive way that Docker Inc is trying to control the Docker open source project, which was started under a permissive open source license when the company still was called DotCloud.” 

We invited Peter Rossbach, freelance system architect and coach of numerous web applications, to weigh in on the Docker fork discussions. 


Peter Rossbach: The situation in the Docker world is truly complicated! First, all parties are right of course. After Alex Polvi, CEO of CoreOS, expressed his dissatisfaction in November 2014, the conflict between the leaders of the container market carried on. They all recognize the chance to shake up the IT market and actively try to make their solutions more visible.

Docker Inc. is very well-placed within the community and it’s middle-term business vision is starting to become more visible. They have a very good marketing strategy and their speed of delivery continues to amaze their peers. Yes, this can be a very annoying aspect for potential partners and they can seem un-cooperating.

Essentially it’s all about the radical simplification of the IT tasks; IT should deliver added value to companies. What the market needs is fast solutions to offer the world reliable software. For this, the Docker ecosystem, Mesos, Kubernetes and the stack of the Linux Cloud Native Foundation offer all sorts of innovative solutions.

Who will benefit at which point in time from these solutions in their products is a personal challenge. The decision you make today may be replaced by a better solution tomorrow.  For customers, producers and the DevOps community this is a complication situation: Everyone wants to have stability and security, but this is difficult to guarantee given the fast innovation we see in this domain.

There is nothing new about the fact that the Docker community wants to provide a comprehensive solution. For us developers, the step to integrate the container orchestration in Docker 1.12 and the support for  Embedded Systems (ARM) in 1.12.1 represents a radical simplification and is a great technological advancement. We already have to struggle with complexity issues in applications, so we do not need additional hurdles in the operational infrastructure.

I feel that it’s time for a bit more courage and calm.  Not every solution created today needs an update to the newest technology tomorrow. We all need to understand that the systems und organizations need to adapt quickly to the potentialities of the market. Not everyone can easily accept this observation. Each day I am happy to see new solutions for problems in the DevOps ecosystem. But the operation in production must continue to be carefully assessed.

There are exciting times ahead of us.

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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