Docker Previews First Commercial Product

Previews private enterprise container registry, rolls out Docker-native clustering and container orchestration capabilities

Yevgeniy Sverdlik

December 4, 2014

3 Min Read
Docker Previews First Commercial Product
Docker Founder and CTO Solomon Hykes (Photo: Docker)

Docker kicked off DockerCon in Amsterdam (its first conference in Europe) with the announcement of its first commercial product. The company also announced Docker-native orchestration capabilities for distributed multi-container and multi-host applications.

Docker Hub Enterprise is a Docker image repository companies can deploy in their own data centers, or in hosted private or public cloud environments. The initial aim of the product is to give enterprises a way to use Docker in a way that satisfies their internal security and compliance policies and fits into their application development processes. But eventually, Docker hopes to make Docker Hub Enterprise the way its customers interface with everything Docker, David Messina, the company’s vice president of marketing, said.

The company's Docker-native orchestration tools became a controversial subject earlier this week, when a company called CoreOS, which has always been a major supporter of Docker, said Docker had steered away from what CoreOS expected to be a continued focus on simple, composable application containers. CoreOS CEO Alex Polvi said building native orchestration tools into the Docker daemon diluted its purpose.

San Francisco-based Docker is both a company and an open source project the company leads and builds its business around. Through use of standardized application containers, the technology aims to enable developers to build, test, and deploy a single application on any kind of infrastructure, be it the developer’s laptop, the company’s test environment, a production cluster in its data center, or a public cloud.

Until now, users have been able to host their container images in a Docker-operated public Docker Hub registry. They can also set up private registries of their own in various public clouds or in their own data centers using open source code. The hub’s new enterprise version, however, is a Docker-designed and supported product.

The company is previewing DHE at DockerCon EU and plans to start an early-access program in February 2015.

IBM, AWS, Microsoft to Sell DHE

A number of companies will be bringing the product to market besides Docker. They include IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon Web Services.

While IBM has been involved with Docker for some time, this will be the first time the company will have official products around it. IBM will sell DHE as an on-premise solution and also as a cloud service through its Bluemix Platform-as-a-Service.

Microsoft and AWS will offer DHE as part of their public cloud services.

Docker-Native Multi-Container, Multi-Host Orchestration Tools

Docker also announced three container orchestration services to make it easier to build applications that consist of multiple containers and run across multiple servers, VM hosts, or clouds. While all three services are designed to work together to achieve the same goal, users can deploy them separately with other solutions.

The first one, called Docker Machine, simplifies portability of Docker containers across different hosts. While they have been portable before, moving a container would involve a lot of manual configuration, which Docker Machine automates.

The second service is called Swarm. It is a Docker-native clustering capability, like Mesospere, Google’s Kubernetes or Container Engine, or AWS’s EC2 Container Service.

Through Swarm’s API, developers will be able to use it together with any other clustering engine. They can use Swarm in their development or testing environment, for example, but deploy the application in Amazon’s cloud using Amazon’s container service.

The third component is Compose. It defines which containers an application is composed of in a single file. Given the dynamic nature of modern applications, it helps make sure all changes are accounted for, keeping updates consistent in that single configuration file. Adding a service takes a simple change in the Compose file.

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