Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Monday, June 14, 2021

Docker Platform Fills Gaps in Container Ecosystem 

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Docker rolled out a batch of container services this week aimed squarely at enterprise developers and IT operators looking to leverage containers to push applications into production and scale them across hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Along with a new services platform that includes a container runtime and multi-tenant orchestration along with security and management tools, Docker also announced a certification program described as a framework for its growing list of software partners to integrate their tools with existing enterprise infrastructure.

Addressing many of the early teething problems associated with deploying containers in production, Docker stressed that its "enterprise edition" provides a modular platform for installing, configuring and upgrading Docker on certified infrastructure, including operating systems and cloud services.

The platform seeks to remove "the layers of complexity [while] giving users a more native and tightly integrated experience," Solomon Hykes, Docker's co-founder and CTO noted in a statement. The container leader also is targeting the growing number of hybrid cloud deployments by emphasizing the entire software supply chain and the "seamless workflow" between application developers and IT operators.

The certification program for validating technologies running on the Docker platform also includes a Docker store that provides access to certified infrastructure along with trusted containers, network and storage plugins and other tools.

Docker announced Thursday (March 2) that its enterprise edition comes in basic, standard and advanced subscription tiers. The high-end version includes features such as image security scanning and continuous container vulnerability monitoring. Subscription pricing ranges from $750 for "business day support" to $3,500 for "business critical support."

The company also announced support for the new container service from a growing partner network that includes Alibaba Cloud, Canonical, Cloudera, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE), IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT). The platform also is available on the Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft Azure cloud marketplaces.

The enterprise edition supports infrastructure ranging from Windows Server 2016 to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The certified container component allows partner vendors to distribute their software in Docker containers that have been scanned for vulnerabilities before being posted to the Docker store.

The goal of the latest Docker initiative is an attempt at forging a single platform aimed at enterprise developers and IT managers working with either Linux or Windows. Further, the hybrid cloud initiative looks to address "homegrown" as well as commercial software along with emerging micro-services used to deliver distributed applications.

Hence, Docker is positioning the new container service as a "modern software supply chain framework" billed as making life easier for embattled developers and infrastructure managers. The company also is betting that the availability of a range of available operating systems and cloud infrastructure will appeal to developers.

"This gives developers, DevOps teams and enterprises the freedom to run Docker and Docker apps on their favorite infrastructure without risk of lock-in," Docker product manager Michael Friis noted in a blog post.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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