StackEngine is an early-stage startup that helps to manage and automate Docker containers. Containers are being lauded as the biggest thing since virtualization, promising to change the way IT is done. But the parallels between virtualization and containerization don’t stop there. While they fix major problems, they also both require a new approach to operations and management.
StackEngine wants to solve what it says is an emerging Docker management bottleneck. While developers love the new approach that makes it easier to deploy and move applications, the wider organization needs tools and best practices to help them quickly and simply launch "Dockerized" products and services.
Containers don’t remove the complexity of managing the overall infrastructure, change and configuration control, as well as capacity and resource management for the infrastructure underneath.
StackEngine is part of a new breed of companies emerging to offer Docker management. Example of another early-stage company trying to solve these problems is Shippable.
StackEngine has raised a $1 million round of seed funding to help it mature its platform and set the stage for future growth. The funding comes from Silverton Partners and LiveOak Venture Partners.
StackEngine is currently in "private alpha" with about 15 customers and plans to use the round to move towards general availability in the fourth quarter.
The company was co-founded by Bob Quillin and Eric Anderson, formerly of CopperEgg (monitoring), Hyper9, which was acquired by SolarWinds to become its virtualization management product, and VMware.
“Virtualization was the predecessor,” said Anderson. “Docker is potentially the next VMware. Just as an ecosystem evolved around helping operations around virtualization, we saw the same ingredients now brewing for the Docker ecosystem.”
Containers solve a huge problem in IT by packaging an application and taking its dependencies with it as it moves to where it needs to go. “Docker solves the huge problem of systems management, virtualization management,” said Quillin. ”This has been an issue for last 10-20 years. Now there’s no more dependency issue on the server, but I have new problems up the stack. How do I harness all of that power Docker gives me? Where should I run it?”
Channeling Spider-Man, Quillen said, "With all that power comes some responsibility. There’s cost controls, performance constraints…
"StackEngine agents run across the host and virtual machine forming a management mesh. It gives real time understanding of the containers that are running, and how the host is performing. There’s a lot of value in providing management visibility of what you have. We’re adding in the ability to do actions as well. Visibility and monitoring is moving to actions and orchestration.”
The company believes that with the early history and up-swell of interest in Docker, this next wave of containerization will help the industry move to the next level, getting containers to the enterprise.