Hot technologies come out of Silicon Valley all the time, but it’s rare to see any blazing quite the same trail as Docker Inc., the startup behind the Docker containers that’s wowed the developer community and caught the attention of everyone from Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, to IBM and EMC (to name a few).
Docker’s mission is to “build, ship, run: distributed applications – anywhere,” and in the process it’s helping data center managers sidestep the huge complexity of managing virtual machines in the cloud. Container technology is radically simpler than virtual machines in principle, but in practice that hasn’t always been the case.
At DockerCon 2015, Docker has a lot to prove if it’s to retain its “hottest startup” crown going into next year’s event. The biggest barrier challenge – gaining more widespread adoption – will undoubtedly be one of the major points of focus at this year’s event, and one of the top questions company execs will try to answer on theCUBE, which will provide two days of live streaming coverage starting Monday June 22 at 11am PDT.
No one’s denying the level of interest in Docker, but a couple of recent surveys from ClusterHQ Inc., and Red Hat Inc., suggest the technology is still a ways from being “enterprise ready,” in part due to lingering concerns around certification and security.
But “enterprise ready” is a loaded term, said Wikibon Senior Analyst Stuart Miniman. Docker’s technology is already being used at massive scale at numerous companies, and the software itself has been downloaded hundreds of millions of times, he said.
“Docker is the hottest technology wave that I have seen,” Miniman said. “Change is happening faster than ever, and Docker has promise to drive a great revolution of freeing applications from the shackles of infrastructure.”
Users, startups and venture capitalists are pouring resources into efforts to layer upon the stack to expand the applications and use cases that Docker can be used with, Miniman said. “I expect the entire solution to mature and many big companies (Intel, Microsoft, IBM, etc) to focus on bringing Docker to the broad enterprise.”
It could be argued that Docker has already made considerable progress along that road. Miniman said that Docker is no longer limited to being a plaything of the giant Web companies because most enterprise CIOs are already well aware of it and have developers figuring out how to use it, or at least are researching how to proceed.
“The role of IT in the enterprise is changing and the biggest challenge is how to move to more agile applications,” Miniman contended. “Docker is a catalyst to increase the move to these newer applications by reducing the complexity of developing software that can work across a variety of environments.”
Other key questions relate to the state of Docker’s ecosystem, which has grown massively over the last 12 months with giants like AWS and Microsoft entering the fray. Last year’s DockerCon was an intimate affair with just 200-250 invitees in attendance – this year the audience is expected to top 2,000, with numerous enterprise vendors showcasing their container efforts and dozens of startups expected to emerge from stealth. According to Miniman, DockerCon is the event everyone wants to be at. More than 500 people are reportedly on the waiting list.
“It really is a container conference,” Miniman said in a preview of the event on theCUBE last week. That’s because DockerCon is not only about Docker’s technology, but also Google’s Kubernetes project, and how Microsoft is working to bring containers to Windows and Azure, he explained.
Watch theCUBE’s preview of DockerCon and the Red Hat Summit below
Miniman is also keen to see examples of users, customers, and use cases, he said. While there’s no doubt Docker is white-hot, we’ve yet to hear much about who the users are, what industries they represent and if they’re creating revenues streams for Docker.
“What I’m personally hoping to see at DockerCon are clear examples of success stories. It is a great lineup of users speaking at the show,” Miniman said, adding that he expected them to address some of the deeper questions around how containers are being used in different environments.
For those who’re unable to attend, all of the action can be watched on theCUBE. Highlights of the show include interviews with:
- Ben Golub, CEO, Docker
- John Gossman, Architect, Microsoft
- Mark Davis, CEO, ClusterHQ
- Ken Durazzo, VP, EMC Office of the CTO
- Solomon Hykes, Founder & CTO, Docker
- Adrian Cockroft, Technology Fellow, Battery Ventures
- Ashish Hunnarkgikar, Technical Staff, PayPal, Inc.
theCUBE will also broadcast the general sessions live on Monday and Tuesday, with keynotes from Docker’s Golub and Hykes, plus executives from companies including Google, Netflix Inc., The Walt Disney Company, General Electric Corp. and Lyft Inc., to look forward to.
TheCube’s coverage of Dockercon will kick off Monday at 11:00 PT (2:00 P.M. ET) and run through Tuesday.