That’s particularly true in Cisco‘s case. The company is trying to transform into more of a software company, down to selling its products the way software is sold, via licenses. A close tie to Docker brings Cisco closer to application developers, an audience the company never had to court before.
Cisco had already picked up some container know-how with the acquisition of ContainerX last year.
Docker, meanwhile, needs to find ways to make money. The Docker runtime is available for free, and its open source nature means users can build their own Docker-based universes without ever having to contact Docker Inc., let alone give it any money.
Docker Inc. does have commercial products; it’s just a matter of turning them into a sustainable business. Docker has raised an awful lot of money — its Series D in 2015 was $95 million — so it’s fair to ask what kind of commercial business the company can build from the popularity of containers.
Along those lines, Docker Inc. today released a new version of Docker Enterprise Edition, its commercial platform (meaning, one that customers pay for). Docker EE is available in versions that include advanced container management or security, if desired.
The partnership involves offering Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) servers as pre-vetted environments for running applications on Docker. This is being done with an eye toward production environments. One Cisco Validated Design, as Cisco calls these integrations, has Docker Datacenter (the version that includes extra container management features) running on UCS servers. Another integration announced today puts Docker onto Cisco’s Flexpod hyperconverged infrastructure.