Docker Inc. revealed today it picked up an additional $23 million in funding that will be employed mainly to advance development of a suite of tools aimed at enhancing the productivity of developers of containerized applications.
Docker Inc. CEO Scott Johnston says the funding represents a vote of confidence in a strategy that hearkens back to the decision to sell the enterprise arm of Docker Inc. to Mirantis in 2019. The additional funding guarantees Docker Inc. will have the financial wherewithal to continue executing on its current strategy for several years, says Johnston.
Docker Inc. estimates there are now almost 7.5 million developers and development teams, combined, using its tools and platforms, which drove a 170% increase in annual recurring revenue in the last year. While Docker tools are available as open source software, Johnston says it’s clear development teams are finding value in subscribing to support services provided by Docker Inc.
The company recently reported that it tracked approximately 30 billion image pulls on Docker in the fourth quarter alone, which suggests the number of containerized applications that may be deployed is rising. As that number of applications continues to increase, Johnston notes the overall health of the Docker ecosystem continues to improve.
Johnston says one of the company’s strengths is that it provides tools that span everything from the developer desktop to the registry where container images are stored. While there are plenty of competitors, Johnston says none of them provide the same range of capabilities.
In the longer term, IT teams should expect to see Docker Inc. leverage advanced analytics to begin to identify images that are best suited for specific tasks as developers build an application. That capability will reduce the need for developers to spend time building application components that already exist. Many more of those components will be seamlessly integrated with continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platforms, from providers such as Jfrog, to foster reusability, notes Johnson.
In fact, Johnson adds, the more focus there is on how to manage and secure software supply chains, the greater the opportunity for the company becomes, as developers look for container images that, from a security perspective, have been vetted by Docker Inc..
The container ecosystem, of course, doesn’t revolve around Docker Inc. the way it once did. Kubernetes has emerged as a de facto standard for deploying containerized applications. The battle for control over how those applications are built, however, intensifies with each passing day, as various additional frameworks become available – or existing ones are updated – to support containers. The winners of that battle will be the companies that focus most on providing the best application development experience, at a time when developers are exercising more control than ever over strategic IT directions within organizations.
Regardless of which platforms are employed, the bulk of new applications being built and deployed are increasingly made up of microservices based on containers. The challenge, now, will be finding the best way to manage all those applications as they begin to roll out, in ever-increasing numbers, through the coming year and beyond.