The move will see Docker EE now natively support both Docker’s Swarm and the Kubernetes container orchestrators. Docker EE had previously allowed customers to use Kubernetes as their container orchestrator, but it was not part of the embedded code.
Banjot Chanana, senior director of product management at Docker Inc., said the move was made to satisfy customer requests.
“This is really about having to choose an orchestrator off the table,” Chanana said. “The container space has been evolving for some time and changing a lot over the past few years. For enterprises that need the value of Kubernetes or just said they wanted the opportunity to choose and not be tied to a specific vendor, this makes sense.”
Kubernetes support will also be delivered to developers using the Docker EE platform, which Chanana said was to provide a consistent experience.
Chanana explained the move to include Kubernetes would also benefit organizations that are already familiar and comfortable with its EE platform. This includes taking advantage of EE’s security, management, workflow, and tooling.
Capsule8 CTO Dino Dai Zovi at this year’s Black Hat USA event claimed Swarm was the “gold standard” in terms of container orchestrator security. He cited a number of default settings within Docker that bolstered Swarm’s security merits.
Chanana said the Kubernetes integration would not impact the company’s ongoing support for Swarm. He explained that by using Swarm as the basis for Kubernetes, the Docker platform had a leg up on other distribution platforms.
“Because of Swarm, it’s easier to stand up a cluster as it’s now part of the installation process as part of Docker Enterprise Edition,” Chanana said.
Jay Lyman, principal analyst at 451 Research, said the move should appeal to enterprises “seeking to centrally manage container applications and speed ROI [return on investment].”
Docker Inc. is also in the midst of raising up to $75 million in new funds through a private equity offering. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, and first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Docker Inc. has raised nearly $62 million since beginning the equity funding round on Sept. 25. The filing shows 30 investors have so far participated in the equity round.
Bloomberg reported in August that Docker Inc. was moving on securing the new funding. If achieved, the funding round is set to push the company’s value to as much as $1.3 billion.
Kubernetes Keeps Climbing
The Docker Inc. integration follows on the heels of Mesosphere adding Kubernetes support alongside its own Mesos container orchestrator. Mesosphere CTO Tobi Knaup echoed Chanana comments, noting that the Kubernetes support was about offering its customers more choices in terms of their container orchestration needs.
“It’s important for us to understand our target customers are usually the operations teams,” Knaup said. “These folks offer platforms for all the developers at a company, sometimes serving up to 10,000 developers. They use a variety of software and can’t be limited to one option. Choice is very important.”
Recent reports have shown Kubernetes controlling more than 70 percent of the container orchestration market. This far outpaced other platforms such as Swarm and Mesos.
As part of the latest Kubernetes version release, the Kubernetes community highlighted a recent survey from RedMonk that showed 54 percent of Fortune 100 companies were running the container orchestrator “in some form.” Containers in general were being used by 71 percent of those companies surveyed.