The new system support includes IBM z Systems, which joins the previously supported Windows and Linux environments. The addition allows customers on mainframes to tap a single platform for control over containers without the need to change code.
Security updates allow for customization of role-based access control (RBAC) and for defining physical and logistical boundaries for different users and teams sharing the same Docker EE environment. This allows for IT departments to consolidate teams into the same infrastructure, while enabling boundaries between those teams that do not disrupt workflow.
The automation updates also impact security. Container image management can now be automated, which removes the potential for human errors as an application moves from test to production.
Another Docker EE automation update includes support for immutable repositories, which prevent image tags from being over-ridden when they have been promoted to production. Image tags are the descriptors used to identify content used in a running container, and they are often shared across containers during development and testing.
Docker’s Swarm container orchestration platform has been cited as the “gold standard” in terms of security. However, the platform was the center of attention at several sessions dedicated to container security at the recent Black Hat USA event.
Dustin Kirkland, vice president of product at Canonical, said from what he heard, most of the vulnerabilities noted at the event were mundane issues he thought were highlighted for maximizing exposure.
“Docker is a juicy topic right now,” Kirkland said. “Researchers are going to attack something that can maximize exposure.”
Docker launched the commercial EE platform in March. The focus is on providing increased support for enterprises running the Docker container management product.
Docker EE is available in three tiers: Basic, which includes the Docker platform, support, and certification; Standard, which adds image management and data center support; and Advanced, which includes security enhancements.
Some analysts have questioned Docker’s long-term viability as a standalone entity, citing increased competitive pressure from container platforms based on Kubernetes.
“Despite its impressive name recognition and presence within the container industry, Docker’s long-term financial success – at least as an independent company – is hardly a fait accompli,” noted Cowen & Company in a recent report. “We do believe that Docker will have to work hard in order to overcome its smaller footprint with enterprise [companies] particularly given the growing influence of public cloud vendors. As such, we expect that Docker will continue to leverage its partnerships with large IT vendors, such as [Microsoft] and Oracle.”
Despite the concern, Docker is reportedly in the process of securing $75 million in new funding, which is set to close by the end of August. The new round of financing could push the company’s value to $1.3 billion.
The report noted some of the new funds would target the company’s enterprise-focused sales and marketing teams.
Past investors have included Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, Insight Venture Partners, Benchmark, Trinity Ventures, and Jerry Yang/AME Cloud Ventures.
Docker, in May, announced a leadership change with industry veteran Steve Singh replacing Ben Golub as CEO. At the time, Singh’s stated focus was on scaling the firm’s “business, brand, and continued innovation serving Docker’s customers, partners, and community.” Singh had served as chairman of the board at the company as well as CEO of Concur.