It's a big week for Docker, Inc., which is releasing the first officially supported version of the open source containerization technology, in an effort to graduate to serving traditional enterprises in addition to its current status as favorite among the startup crowd. Docker is also hosting its first annual conference this week.
Used by big Internet companies like eBay, Yelp, Spotify, and Baidu, Docker is an open-source technology that lets developers pull together all the components of an application into a package, making it easy to move the app from development through test and production. Once the app is in the Docker container, it can also be easily moved between virtual machines, bare-metal servers, or clouds.
Docker, Inc., started out life as DotCloud, offering a platform-as-a-service. But it soon morphed into a different company altogether with a strong focus on the Docker technology.
Docker has already been downloaded nearly 3 million times and is running hundreds of thousands of containers, but thus far has existed only as an unsupported open source project. With the release of Docker 1.0 today, plus the introduction of a host of associated services, Docker, Inc. hopes to bring the technology to the enterprise.
"We are ready to declare Docker production ready," said Scott Johnston, senior vice president of product at Docker, Inc. "We're saying 'yes, it's ready to support your mission critical deployments in the enterprise.'"
He said that the release of Docker 1.0 is about the next step in the adoption lifecycle of a new technology where enterprise IT users, who often require reliability and support, feel comfortable using a technology.
Docker's containerization capability is just as applicable to enterprises as it is to startups, he said.
"The whole notion of how do you manage app mobility when it goes from the developer's laptop to production, they've been wrestling with that for decades," he said. "Lots of folks have been trying to solve it. Then Docker came along and made it easy for developers to solve it on their own and do it in a way they understand and is easy to use."
He said that big banks including Citibank and Morgan Stanley have reached out to Docker with interest in using the technology.
In addition to Docker 1.0, Docker is introducing related services for customers, including training and support.
The company is also launching the Docker Hub Registry, which will include more than 14,000 apps that can easily be used in Docker containers. It will include an Official Repository program for apps that are maintained and supported, typically by the app creator. At launch, the Official Repository includes the top 15 most searched for applications, including Ubuntu, CentOS, Redis, and MySQL.
For a fee, Hub users can also set up their own private repositories where they can work on projects with select people.
Docker is hot technology in the cloud environment at the moment, but for good reason, said Jay Lyman, an analyst with 451 Research. "Docker's like OpenStack," he said. "I don't think it can live up to the incredibly immense amount of hype around them. But there's a compelling technology there. We don't just hear about OpenStack from vendors, we hear about it from users, and it's the same thing for Docker."