$95M ‘Contained’ by Docker Inc for Simplifying PaaS and Cloud Application Portability
Docker, Inc, the company behind the Docker open source platform, and chief sponsor of the Docker ecosystem just announced it has received series D funding of $95M led by Insight Venture Partners, with new contributions from Coatue, Goldman Sachs and Northern Trust. Existing investors Benchmark, Greylock Partners, Sequoia Capital, Trinity Ventures and Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures also participated in the round.
Any application or cloud related article is incomplete without mention of Docker these days. The technology is getting adopted fast as an alternative to server virtualization and is suited for application portability across heterogeneous cloud infrastructure. The ‘open’ platform enables developers and system administrators to build, ship, run and orchestrate distributed applications. With Docker, IT organizations frictionlessly move workloads between data centers and the cloud, and improve infrastructure efficiency by 50 percent or more. Inspired by an active community and by transparent, open source innovation, Docker has been downloaded 100+ million times and is used by thousands of the world’s most innovative organizations, including eBay, Baidu, Yelp, Spotify, Yandex, and Cambridge HealthCare. Docker’s rapid adoption has catalyzed an active ecosystem, resulting in more than 85,000 Dockerized applications and integration partnerships with AWS, Cloud Foundry, Google, IBM, Microsoft, OpenStack, Rackspace, Red Hat and VMware.
So what can Docker, Inc do with $95M?
The latest infusion of $95 million of Series D funding builds on the successful Series C round raised in September 2014. The funds will enable Docker to focus on:
- Accelerated Product Development – hire more engineers to enhance the product based on the needs of he millions of ecosystem users and thousands of enterprises that have standardized on Docker’s technology.
- The company needs to get deeper integration with go-to-market partners such as AWS, IBM and Microsoft, who have made strategic product investments in support of Docker’s open source technology.
- It will also fuel new platform capabilities across the application development lifecycle, solidifying Docker as the foundation for a new generation of distributed applications.
“This financing is a strong vote of confidence in Docker management, and strengthens the company’s ability to fulfill the needs of the millions of developers who have made the commitment to utilizing its breakthrough products and services in their daily work,” said Jeff Horing, co-founder of Insight Venture Partners. “Docker will be able to continue to make additional hires in general to put more critically-needed products into the hands of developers.”
Over the last several years, there has been lot of debate around how applications can be developed in the cloud and ported across different cloud infrastructure. Proprietary technologies make it very complex to achieve scale with portability and IT administrators and developers spend a great deal of time dealing with infrastructure issues. Docker’s model enables any application to be built and run as a consistent, low-overhead Docker container, liberating developers from infrastructure concerns and dramatically increasing innovation. As per Docker, Inc, enterprises using Docker have reported that it shrinks deployment cycles from weeks to minutes and drives up to 20X improvement in computing resource efficiency.
The management team at Docker feels that the journey has just started. Solomon Hykes, founder and CTO of Docker believes there is a lot more to do but is encouraged with the acceptance of the technology. The Docker project itself got re-organized a few months ago to drive more focus and growth for the technology. “We are getting a clear message from the market that they like what we are building, and we plan to keep building it. The financing enables us to deliver on that promise”, said Hykes.
Containers are evolving in a complex physical, virtualized and cloud ecosystem
Docker, Inc is not the only company getting attention. Google Ventures just announced funding for CoreOS another company that is apparently seeing a lot of success and is trying to simplify container technology for enterprise use. With support from Google, the company just launched the Tectonic open source project which is a platform combining Kubernetes and the CoreOS stack. As per CoreOS Co-founder Alex Polvi, Tectonic pre-packages all of the components required to build Google-style infrastructure and adds additional commercial features, such as a management console for workflows and dashboards, an integrated registry to build and share Linux containers, and additional tools to automate deployment and customize rolling updates.
The support for Docker is increasing. All major cloud providers are backing the technology. Containers don’t need underlying infrastructure to be virtualized and therefore VMware’s virtualization business could get most impacted by increased adoption of this technology. In a smart but also seen as a defensive move, VMware announced support for Docker last year. Then, there are Data Center Operating System startups like Mesosphere also embracing Docker to automate and scale container deployment.
The future of Docker and other container technologies depend on how much developers love them for mainstream application development. Don Duet, global co-head of the Technology Division at Goldman Sachs explained why the company invested in Docker, “when our engineers discovered and started using Docker’s open source platform, they were immediately impressed by the portability it provides applications. It inspired us to move towards a standardized infrastructure for packaging, shipping and running our applications based on Docker’s technology.” The importance of this technology is also related to Platform as a Service (PaaS) – Cloud Foundry already supports Docker and with IBM’s Bluemix PaaS offerings, as a developer you can now leverage the power of Docker to deploy containers. As developers write more applications in the cloud, there will be will be need for easier application portability across multiple cloud infrastructure. The future of Docker Inc and containers seems promising but how the technology evolves and establishes in the enterprise with a complex cloud ecosystem is yet to be seen.
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