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Managing Editor

Docker buys SDN start-up for container networking

Mar 05, 20152 mins
LinuxMergers and AcquisitionsSDN

SocketPlane snapped up by Linux container company less than six months after debut

Linux container company Docker this week said it would acquire SDN start-up SocketPlane, a developer of a native networking stack for Docker software.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

SocketPlane icon SocketPlane

SocketPlane was founded last fall by former Cisco, Red Hat, HP, OpenDaylight and Dell officials. The company is looking to bring enterprise-grade networking to the Docker ecosystem by developing software designed to address the performance, availability and scale requirements of networking in large, container-based cloud deployments.


The SocketPlane software employs a DevOps model and tools to enable scale, programmable agility, and policy-driven automation, and provides network virtualization to mask network configuration complexity.

Docker says SocketPlane participated in shaping the initial efforts around Docker’s open API for networking. Within Docker, the 6-person SocketPlane team will be on collaborating with partners to complete a set of networking APIs that address the needs of application developers, and network and system administrators.

By bringing networking directly to the application and being infrastructure independent, Docker says it provides a template where competing vendors can work from one standard, while optimizing their own technologies for differentiation. Developers are assured application portability throughout the application lifecycle, with uniform communication of their composable services, Docker says.

This frees Docker-based applications from proprietary application communication buses, the company says. Distributed applications are not bound to a specific vendor or cloud provider, Docker says.

SocketPlane employees have already transitioned to Docker and are working from the company’s facilities in San Francisco.

Managing Editor

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 28 years, 23 at Network World. He covers enterprise networking infrastructure, including routers and switches. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy and at

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