Sold out Dockercon highlights Dockers coming of age

Docker grows up with release of version 1.0

There is little doubt that Docker is one of the hottest names in tech.  Anything written about them seems to be a magnet for readers. When Solomon Hykes, CTO and co-founder keynoted the recent Gluecon 2014 conference it was standing room only. It’s pretty much the same story at this week’s initial Dockercon conference in San Francisco.

I spoke with Scott Johnston, SVP of product at Docker last week in anticipation of this week’s conference. Due to a prior commitment I couldn’t make it out for the conference. It seems I am the only one not there. Scott told me the only thing holding them back from letting more people in is the fire marshal. They have a waiting list of something like 300, while others are scalping passes to the show!

The big news from the show is the official release of version 1.0 of Docker. Of course the previous release .11 was a preview release of 1.0. It is not that version 1.0 has any new important features that no one has seen before. It is more a case that Docker is now official. In an era where Google kept products in beta forever it seemed, Docker is out there.

Speaking of Google, one of the presentations at Dockercon today is about how Google is now supporting and using Docker in Google Cloud. Red Hat is also a big proponent/partner of Docker and the fact that IBM is a platinum sponsor should give you a hint as to what Big Blue thinks of Docker.

In fact in both my conversations with Johnston and with Scott Rich, IBM Distinguished Engineer, DevOps at IBM Innovate last week, they mentioned some interesting IBM/Docker work. I think we may have to wait a bit longer to get more facts on that.

Besides the 1.0 release, Docker has a few other important announcements this week dealing with some of the new services and products that Docker is rolling out around the open source version. The best way to explain these to you is to frame it the way Scott Johnston did for me.

The open source Docker project is now called Docker engine. That is the platform. On top of this Docker and others will roll out services and products. They can be rolled out via the Docker Hub. Think of Docker Hub as the beginning of a Docker app store or marketplace. I think that you will see both Docker and 3rd parties with offerings in the Docker Hub very soon.

From the Docker Hub announcement major features include:

  • An integrated Console  for managing users, teams, containers, repositories, and workflows;
  • The Docker Hub Registry, offering more than 14,000 “Dockerized” applications, available to all users as building blocks for their own applications;
  • Collaboration tools, enabling  users to manage and share their applications through both public and private repositories, and to invite collaborators to participate in any stage of the application development lifecycle;
  • The Automated Build Service, which keeps applications up-to-date by automatically rebuilding and updating an application’s public or private repository whenever the source code is updated on GitHub or Atlassian Bitbucket. Over 25% of the more than 14,000 Dockerized applications in the Docker Hub Registry are now created using Automated Builds, providing both automation and end-user assurance of container origin;
  • The Webhooks service, which enables users to automate repetitive workflows for build pipelines or continuous deployment, Interoperable with any RESTful API,  webhooks enables organizations to take advantage of the web APIs published by any service or software package, like GitHub, AWS, or Jenkins; and
  • The Docker Hub API, which includes a user authentication service, so that third party applications and services can gain authenticated access to applications in a user’s public and private repositories. Third-party services that have already integrated with the Docker Hub API include AWS Elastic BeanStalk, Deis, Drone.io, Google Compute Engine, Orchard, Rackspace, Red Hat, Tutum, and many others.

In addition to Docker Hub, Docker also announced enterprise support services in conjunction with the release of the 1.0 version. This will allow large enterprises to rest easy knowing they can get expert help and support with SLAs wrapped around using Docker.

Not that lack of support is slowing down the hype around Docker. Another subject Scott and I spoke about is how Docker can possibly live up to the hype surrounding it?  All too often we have seen companies and technologies crushed under the over-hyped expectations which make it impossible to live up to. Scott and the whole Docker team are keenly aware of this. They are really trying to under promise and over deliver. They are intentionally not fanning the fire with much speculation.

Every technology goes through the Gartner hype cycle I guess. Overblown expectations lead to the trough of disillusionment. But for leadership at Docker including Scott this is not their first rodeo. They are doing everything they can to balance the hype and promise with the reality of a project/product that is still taking baby steps.

The Docker team is also hard at work on the next round of Docker Hub offerings, as well as improvements to the Docker engine itself.  Scott assures me the team is committed to open source and the Docker engine will remain open source. The project itself is getting more support and code contribution than ever, so it remains vibrant.

If you are lucky enough to be a ticket holder to Dockercon, hold on to your stub. It may be worth something someday. You could say you were there at the very first one. In the meantime the Docker team is hard at work making sure that they fulfill the promise that this 1.0 release holds. Congrats and good luck to Ben, Scott, James Turnbull, Julien Barber and the rest of team over at Docker.

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Alan Shimel

As Editor-in-chief of DevOps.com and Container Journal, Alan Shimel is attuned to the world of technology. Alan has founded and helped several technology ventures, including StillSecure, where he guided the company in bringing innovative and effective networking and security solutions to the marketplace. Shimel is an often-cited personality in the security and technology community and is a sought-after speaker at industry and government conferences and events. In addition to his writing on DevOps.com and Network World, his commentary about the state of technology is followed closely by many industry insiders via his blog and podcast, "Ashimmy, After All These Years" (www.ashimmy.com). Alan has helped build several successful technology companies by combining a strong business background with a deep knowledge of technology. His legal background, long experience in the field, and New York street smarts combine to form a unique personality.

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