Virtual Container Tech Boosted by $15 Million Round

By Doug Barney

Docker is a company so new that it cautions IT not to put its technology into production – at least not just yet. Nevertheless, no less than five venture capital companies like what they see enough to get together and give Docker $15 million in Series B funding.

These VCs include Greylock Partners, which led the round, Benchmark, AME Cloud Ventures, Insight Venture Partners, and Trinity Ventures. The lead investor from Greylock, Jerry Chen, has some serious virtualization chops, having worked for VMware as VP of cloud and application services.

So, what is Docker and why is it worth so much money?

“Docker is an open-source engine that automates the deployment of any application as a lightweight, portable, self-sufficient container that will run virtually anywhere,” the company explained. “Docker containers can encapsulate any payload, and will run consistently on and between virtually any server. The same container that a developer builds and tests on a laptop will run at scale, in production, on VMs, bare-metal servers, OpenStack clusters, public instances, or combinations of the above.”

In essence we are talking about virtual machines that are super easy to deploy and have all they need to run out of the gate.

The company thinks this is appropriate for creating private lightweight PaaS environments, as there is enough of the software stack built in to develop and run apps. It can also be used for automated testing and supporting continuous deployment and integration, which is a nice fit with Docker-based PaaS environments. It should also ease software deployment and packaging.

And finally, the company claims the tool is highly scalable.

“Docker is the embodiment of a Dev/ops dream come true, as they are changing the world for developers and operations professionals in a powerful, efficient and scalable way,” noted Chen.

Healthy Ecosystem

Even without the product formally shipping, Docker has built itself a tidy little ecosystem. The pre-release version of the software came out nine months ago, and has accumulated more than 400,000 downloads and now counts 300 techies as contributors.

And some 5,000 compatible apps, which the company says have been “Dockerized” have been built.

Chen hopes this is only the beginning: “Since launching last March, Docker has emerged as the leading open source project and company making Linux containers usable and manageable. Linux containers encapsulate and abstract applications so they become completely portable. A developer can write an application on her MacBook and then push that application to a virtual machine running in the cloud or even a server just running Linux in a data center. As a result, Docker could be the binding glue between virtual machines and the cloud, providing a tool that both developers and system admins can love because it speeds up the development, deployment, updating, and scaling of applications without any changes,” Chen said in a recent blog.

“Just like today’s generation of internet users are being born in a mobile first world where they haven’t known life before the smart phone, today’s developers are being born in the cloud — a world where they come to expect instant access to elastic compute and storage. A world where the development to production cycle can be measured in minutes instead of months.”

Edited by Blaise McNamee

MSPToday Editor at Large

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