Thus far in the container world there has been one big player: Docker. But not for long. Today startup CoreOS announced that it has released the earliest version of a Docker competitor named Rocket. And so the container wars have begun.
Check out CoreOS’s announcement of Rocket, which has some zings targeted directly as the Docker community. That’s nothing new though. The cloud computing and devops markets have been known for their rough and tumble marketing and power play moves by vendors. Check out the brewing PaaS battles or the cloud price wars among the IaaS megavendors.
+ MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: How to get more out of your virtual and cloud environments +
CoreOS says that it has developed its own container technology because it doesn’t believe Docker has remained true to its original goal of providing an open framework for containers. CoreOS says Rocker will aim to do that.
What does all this mean for end users? For one, competition in the container market emphasizes the importance of this technology. If you’re a developer or work in a devops shop and you’re not familiar with containers, you should familiarize yourself ASAP. Containers are basically a different type of virtualization from the OS-level (as opposed to the server level), allowing applications to run in packaged containers and ported across environments. See some explanations here and here.
The emergence of Rocket will likely also be a good thing for the container movement in general. Competition in a free market is a good thing.
But CoreOS’s Rocket will have an uphill battle to start with. Docker already has partnerships with many big tech vendors, from Red Hat to Google, Amazon, VMware and Microsoft. It’s basically been the de factor container company.
With CoreOS announcing a new container runtime named Rocket, now Docker has some company, and competition.