So the company is kicking off Day 2 of Dockercon Europe, Tuesday in Barcelona, with the launch of the Universal Control Plane, touting it as a way for operations to keep control over applications without hurting the speed of development that Docker allows.
“Control” includes enforcing regulatory compliance and other legal or contractual necessities. UCP can’t stop developers from getting annoyed by those issues; its role is to make any tradeoffs more palatable. “We believe that tension — the needs of the developers as opposed to the needs of operations — never goes away,” says Scott Johnston, Docker’s senior vice president of product management.
UCP isn’t related to the control plane you’d find in switches and routers. Rather, it’s a management tool for Docker containers, the key being that it’s one tool catering to multiple parts of the enterprise.
For example, system administrators could use it to set up access control rights, while developers could use it to move containers from the Docker Trusted Registry into a production cluster.
Tools exist to do each of these things, but combining them into a form usable by the typical enterprise is difficult. “Our early adopters who are using Docker in production, they kind of built their own custom tools with all kinds of scripts,” Johnston says.
Lately, vendors have turned their attention toward making Linux containers, especially Docker, suitable for real-life enterprise deployments. Examples include ContainerX and Rancher Labs, each of which made an announcement to coincide with DockerCon, and VMware‘s Photon Platform, which got its official release Monday.
Unlike a lot of Docker goodies, the Universal Control Plane is not available for free; it’s a commercial product. It’s intended to be an on-premises product, although UCP is able to also manage containers across public and private clouds.