As Docker continues its rapid ascent, more startups are springing up to work on parts of the ecosystem that Docker Inc. hasn’t had time to flesh out. ClusterHQ, doing volume management, was one recent example.
Today’s entry: StackEngine, which is developing deployment and management tools for Docker applications.
StackEngine is a five-person startup with software in private alpha test. The company is announcing its existence and a $1 million seed round of funding today; the money came from Silverton Partners and LiveOak Venture Partners.
StackEngine hopes to get into beta mode sometime this month, with a production product ready by the end of the year.
Based in Austin, Texas, founders Bob Quillin and Eric Anderson tackled cloud infrastructure monitoring with startup CopperEgg, and their combined experience includes startups nLayers (ultimately acquired by VMware) and Hyper9 (acquired by SolarWinds).
So, they have a track record with management tools. Docker could use the same kind of touch, they reckon.
“Yeah, people could take Kubernetes and a little of this and a little of that,” Anderson says. “There’s a ton of really cool Github projects and 60-percent-done tools, but what people want is a product they can start using to make their Docker life better.”
So, StackEngine is combining some available open source components and some proprietary code. The resulting product, also called StackEngine, is not open source, but of course Quillin and Anderson say they’ll be contributing code back to the open-source projects they’ve tapped.
StackEngine, the product, could lead to the kind of automation provided by Chef and Puppet. The difference is that StackEngine is for containers, which are a more complex case than the systems-level management that Chef and Puppet provide, Quillin says.
StackEngine will also include the ability to manage containers across clouds, and parts of it will resemble host management tools, Quillin and Anderson say.
Some of StackEngine’s alpha customers include those that were already using Linux containers in production as Docker emerged; they’re now moving to Docker and looking for management tools, Quillin says. Others include the financial types that usually investigate anything new in networking — and even normal enterprises, interested in using Docker containers on-premises, he says.