I attended DockerCon 2015 this week in San Francisco. I have been writing about Docker since the days when its name was still dotCloud and it first decided to pull its container technology out of its PaaS solution. I remember the first Docker meetup, which consisted of about five of us in the “jungle” of the original dotCloud headquarters, back in February of 2013. Fast-forward to June 22–23, 2015, and Docker filled up the Grand Marquis in San Francisco and was streaming live to a rabid user base all over the world. Couple that with $190M in funding, and you have a company on fire.
Containers are all the rage these days. Many large enterprises are experimenting with containers, and some have implemented them in some form or fashion. Most of the excitement and experimentation is a grassroots effort, and containers are being used within pockets of the enterprises. In many cases, management is aware of container technology but has not yet bought into an all-out container strategy. Some of the hesitation that I hear from C-level executives is that containers are not mature enough yet, containers have security gaps, there is a lack of skills and training, and they don’t want to give up their investment in VMs. The practitioners who are implementing containers see huge opportunities in agility, quality, portability, and manageability. So, how can we explain the value of containers to our bosses so we can get broader adoption of a technology that can solve a lot of business problems?
Docker recently raised another $95 million in a Round D, even though it is still burning through its Round B cash and hasn’t touched the $40 million it raised in Round C. Docker has now raised roughly $160 million dollars. Analysts have estimated its valuation is somewhere in the $1 billion range. With each round, the investors are higher up on the VC food chain. The latest round includes such big names as Goldman Sachs and Northern Trust. When I asked David Messina, Docker’s VP of enterprise marketing, about this, he said it speaks to Docker’s ability to exceed even its own expectations and to continuously increase the business value of its offerings.
Every new advancement in technology brings security challenges. When the Internet became popular, many people had serious concerns about exposing the enterprise to the outside world. For companies to adopt Internet technologies, they had to accept a tradeoff: taking on new vulnerabilities in return for game-changing business value creation. With the emergence of cloud computing, history is repeating itself. It no longer is feasible to resist the movement to the cloud because of security fears. There must be some acceptance of risk and an effort to minimize that risk with sound architecture, good process, and continuous monitoring. The business value of cloud is too great for businesses to sit on the sidelines.
Docker has announced the acquisition of SocketPlane, a relatively new startup focused on driving DevOps-defined networking by enabling distributed security, application services, and orchestration for Docker and Linux containers. This move is a talent acquisition play. SocketPlane’s Madhu Venugopal, Brent Salisbury, and Dave Tucker are three of the top twenty committers of the OpenDaylight project. An open platform dedicated to network programmability, OpenDaylight enables software-defined networking (SDN) and creates a solid foundation for network functions virtualization (NFV) for networks at any size and scale. These three industry experts have deep roots in networking technologies and extensive experience leading and participating in large open-source projects. The SocketPlane team also includes industry veteran John Willis, an infrastructure and networking expert himself, who is probably best known for his early contributions as one of the original drivers of the DevOps movement.
DevOps has risen in popularity over past twelve to eighteen months to the point that most enterprises are either practicing something they call DevOps or are at least exploring how they can leverage DevOps to be more agile. The problem companies are having with DevOps is that it is not really a thing that comes with instructions or a framework that is prescriptive in nature. DevOps is instead a shift in the way we approach building software and even running a company. The age-old way has been more factory oriented, where software went from inception to production by passing through various silos of specialists (developers, testers, security experts, system administrators, operations, etc.). Continue reading Is DevOps What Organizations Really Seek?
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