Docker Inc. has acquired another small company you’ve never heard of, one meant to help the company push the Docker platform to larger, regulated enterprises through the creation of the Docker Enterprise Hub.
Koality (say it slowly and you’ll get it) is an eight-person company whose two founders have been working on automating the work of moving code into testing or production. In other words, Koality tools don’t help you develop code; they help you deal with the grunt work of deploying it.
That’s something Docker Inc. could use for Docker Hub Enterprise, an on-premises version of the Docker Hub that it’s developing. Docker has talked about the concept, but today, with the Koality deal, it’s disclosing a name for it. Think of the Docker Hub Enterprise as a private repository for Docker containers, but one that’s tailored to satisfy regulations in areas such as healthcare or finance.
The deal follows two other microscopic Docker acquisitions, Orchard and Fig. We’ve also covered a couple of other Docker-related companies that are small: ClusterHQ and StackEngine, and there are doubtless dozens more out in the wild.
It all signifies how rapidly the Docker environment for Linux containers is progressing. The open-source nature of the code allows any developers to jump in with ideas.
And now Docker Inc. has another $40 million in funding “to help accelerate the movement of the platform into production applications for the largest of large enterprises,” says David Messina, Docker Inc. vice president of marketing.
Docker Hub Hits the Big Time
The Docker Hub is a central place for hosting containers (“Docker images,” if you want to sound cool) either publicly or privately. True to the “hub” moniker, it’s a repository that others can tap — a borrowing library of containers, in a sense. The result is a modular framework, where anybody in the community can grab the Docker containers they need and snap them together, theoretically speeding up development.
Public sharing via the Docker Hub is one reason why 40,000 applications have sprung up in the three months since Docker 1.0 was released, Messina says.
Apart from that, private Docker hubs are being used by “thousands” of organizations, Messina says, including large enterprises where distributed teams can share work by sharing containers. Taking it a step further, customers “in, say, highly regulated industries” want something even more private, a repository that sits behind a firewall, Messina says. That’s what Docker Inc. wants Docker Hub Enterprise to be.
Docker Hub Enterprise would also address some of the large-enterprise issues that the Docker community hasn’t caught up with yet — the tricky problems that arise when syncing up a company’s software versions, for instance. A work-in-progress with no announced date for launch, Docker Hub Enterprise would still be tightly tied to Docker Hub, with seamless workflow between the two being a priority, Messina says.
The motivation here is pretty simple. For all its open-source niceness, Docker Inc. is still a business. “We firmly believe the ecosystem, in and of itself, should thrive. But there are capabilities, especially in relation to the enterprise, where Docker is going to want to own the customer relationship,” Messina says.
As for Koality’s part in all this, the company worked on smoothing the processes that developers use in moving code from the building phase to testing to production, trying to automate that workflow as much as possible for development teams. Koality actually predates Docker (which, remember, is less than two years old), but as its work was applied to Docker integration cycles, Docker Inc. apparently took notice.