Wheelings & Dealings: CoreOS Lands, Big Things to Follow for Docker Users

By Steve Anderson

Improving products is a great way to both keep current business on hand and draw in new business, so it's not too big a surprise to see that CoreOS recently made a deal to acquire, which in turn could mean some exciting new developments for those who turn to Docker containers as part of everyday operations.

The deal's terms weren't disclosed, but the combination of the two firms offers some exciting possibilities for future development to come. CoreOS deals mainly in a custom Linux operating system (OS) for users that also drives the Docker container system. Meanwhile, is a small operation—reportedly, it's a two-man shop—that focuses on “private Docker repositories.” That immediately suggests a particular targeting of Docker operations, and the reports coming out suggest that some of these developments could prove impressive.

The earliest reports note that CoreOS already plans to bring out a new feature for current customers, an Enterprise Registry tool for those in on CoreOS' Managed Linux service. With the Managed Linux service, companies no longer need to worry about updating operating systems, a development that will likely prove exciting to some firms who have better things to worry about. But that's only the start; the new connection between CoreOS and may be bringing some other help along.

Since Docker operates like a series of virtual storehouses that keep Docker images in place, the Docker images in turn have the necessary components of an application, like source code and similar files. Docker users have essentially two choices when it comes to storage: either the source code and similar components, like binary files and such, can be kept in the Docker Hub, or users have the option to transfer these components to separate facilities out of Docker's official sanction. That's where really gets a chance to shine, as its own private repositories are basically the same that Docker Hub can offer, just not specifically on Docker. That makes it ideal for companies who want to keep more control over data, and run registries on infrastructure that's located in-house. It's actually being described as somewhat like GitHub Enterprise, thanks to GitHub's ability to let users host code sent to GitHub on the users' own hardware.

Not only does such a move offer a little more control over data, it also offers up some valuable peace of mind for companies who'd rather assert more security over those valuable source codes. Indeed, we just saw how valuable source codes were some time ago, when the Russian government started demanding access to Apple and SAP source codes just a couple weeks ago. It's worth realizing that some companies would be eager to protect access to source code, and CoreOS seems to be making just that realization. The newly-expanded CoreOS may well ultimately appeal to some users who weren't interested previously, and that means a new market opportunity in tow for the company, making the acquisition a smart move in the long term.

Only time will tell just how well CoreOS' new offerings are received, but it certainly looks good at the outset for a company willing to offer what the customers want. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Contributing Writer

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