Rewriting the bottom line: Docker EE and the open-source profit question


Docker Inc., which provides an open platform for developers and sysadmins to build, ship and run distributed applications, is a company sometimes knocked for failing to monetize, is a case study in how the evolving open-source community is rethinking how to drive profit.

“Open source today is very different than open source five years, ago, 10 years ago,” said Jerry Chen, partner at Greylock Partners. “The ecosystem is very different, because all of a sudden, the developers and contributors are not just kind of your misfits and rebels working on the weekends. They are Fortune 100, Fortune 500 companies.”

Chen spoke to Stu Miniman (@stu) and James Kobielus (@jameskobielus), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, during DockerCon17 in Austin, Texas.

Another aspect of open source that has transformed over the years is the sometimes rickety path to monetization. “Before, you had maybe one or two models to make money in open source,” he said. Docker is one company whose latest moves point the way forward on monetization, said Chen, who was an early investor in Docker.

Docker bets on enterprise

“[Docker is] really pioneering a way to bring open source and community ecosystem into the next 10, 20 years,” Chen said. Its pairing projects with low barriers to entry with sophisticated enterprise services is a reason for this, and underscores its maturation, he pointed out.

“You see Docker in the infrastructure analogy doing low-level tools like Project Moby and LinuxKit to high-level services around Docker Data Center [a part of Docker Enterprise (EE) Edition],” Chen added.

Enterprise services looks profitable for Docker, since enterprises are increasingly deploying applications on multi-cloud environments, he added.

“Docker lets you be cross-cloud better than any other technology out there,” Chen concluded.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s independent editorial coverage of DockerCon US 2017 Austin.

Photo: SiliconANGLE