Docker becomes de facto Linux standard

Default container in Red Hat is latest distro for Docker.

Lots of news coming out of the Red Hat Summit this week. A lot of the buzz is around containerization in general and Docker in particular. Docker is set to ship with the latest version of RHEL (RHEL 7.0). Also, Docker will integrate with Red Hat's Open Shift PaaS. This is in addition to the earlier announcement that Red Hat is launching certification of applications delivered in the Docker container format.

All of this Docker and Red Hat news and integrations are only part of the picture, though. Docker, which is now one of the top projects on Git, has really sewn up the Linux market. It has quickly become the de facto standard for containerization in Linux. Besides Red Hat, Docker already ran on the Amazon AWS version of Linux, as well as several other Linux distros. Also, sources tell me that we can expect to see more announcements in the weeks ahead about Docker being included by default in several other of the major Linux distros.

Docker is becoming synonymous with containers in Linux. By the time any other project or competitor look up they will have this one sewn up.

I had a chance to catch up with Docker CEO Ben Golub to talk about the news and all of the buzz around Docker. Ben is a seasoned entrepreneur and knows that while hype comes and goes, it is business that counts. He is very excited with all of the Red Hat partnership and integrations because he realizes what a powerful force in the Linux community Red Hat is. But Ben also realizes that locking down support and distribution with other Linux flavors is important as well. He has his team focused on the bigger picture.

For Golub, that bigger picture is how he translates all of the buzz and support for Docker into revenue. Docker already announced its first commercial service, which is a repository for storing Docker containers. They, of course, still offer their own dotCloud PaaS hosting as well. But Ben says these are really just first steps as they continue to understand the market, their users and what adds real value. According to Ben, Docker will continue with a series of new products and services throughout this year. Many of them are already in the works, but Golub said it wasn't the time yet to announce. 

Hopes are high that Docker will break through as another open source success story that makes good on the commercial side of things. However, Docker may not be the only commercial success arising out of the use of Docker containers.

One of the things I spoke about with Golub is the entire ecosystem that has grown around Docker. There are any number of projects, products and companies that are springing up around the container ecosystem. While none of them, perhaps, has the potential to be as big as Docker itself, there are some in the group that could wind up being very successful companies. In a later article I will explore some of these Docker ecosystem's up and comers.

The whole subject of containers in Linux right now though is red hot (in addition to Red Hat, lol). I asked Ben "what about Windows?" Nothing definitive from him right now for the short term, but of course longer-term he would love to see some container-type of technology on the Windows platform as well.  Will it be Docker or someone else, I don't know. But it will come I am sure.

Also remember that at some point it almost becomes impossible to live up to the hype. But Docker has the potential to be a big hit.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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