Docker announced another acquisition yesterday, the 2nd one in the last two weeks. This time they have swallowed up Kitematic, a Canadian open source project that makes it setting up Docker on a Mac really easy, Like up and running in 5 minutes easy.
I know some of you may be asking yourself, “I am not going to deploy Docker on my Mac, I only use Mac for my laptop.” Why would Docker spend money or more probably some of their valuable stock, buying an open source tool that lets users run Docker on Mac computers, not servers, not in the cloud. But Kitematic’s popularity is with developers who like the convenience of setting up Docker containers quickly on their laptops so they can develop, test and experiment on the fly. That is Dockers customer base right now.
It is a great little tuck in that gives Docker a good tool that will make their developer supporters happy as they develop apps in Docker containers. I spoke to the Docker folks about this acquisition and they tell me the 3 people behind Kitematic are already on their way to San Francisco to join the team.
The fact that Kitematic uses one of the recently released Docker Orchestration tools is a nice bonus showing what can be accomplished using the Docker tools.
At the end of the day it really is a nice addition to the Docker toolset. It also continues a trend of Docker cherry picking the best of the tools that are popping out of the Docker ecosystem. It makes for a great, quick exit strategy for those folks developing tools for Docker. In the case of Kitematic it was really quick. The 3 founders are barely out of school themselves. But from Docker’s point of view, it makes sense. Buying them early usually means buying them cheap. Usually but not always.
Bigger picture I was more excited about Docker’s recent acquisition of SocketPlane. The company while short on actual code and product had a good roadmap on SDN type of functionality to allow multiple Docker containers to work in concert. There is still a lot of work to be done to make that a reality, but more than a tuck in, Socket Place is a key to Docker success going forward.
There is no doubt that Docker is a darling of the tech world and developers in particular. The issue is when are we going to see Docker move from people tinkering with it to see what is possible, to actual deployments in a big way. Yes there are some real world deployments of Docker. I am not saying there is not. But that is rather small potatoes compared to what the promise holds.
To fulfill that promise enterprises will need to deploy dozens if not hundreds of Docker containers across disparate clouds and infrastructures. These containers will have to communicate and act in concert. That is still probably a little while off, but that is the vision that will see Docker live up to the hype.
The only dark cloud (no pun intended) on the horizon if this type of functionality cannot be engineered in an elegant manner or more likely another container option comes to market with this type of functionality first. Not saying that is going to happen, but Docker buying up these companies at the pace they are inhibits competition from popping up as well.
In any event, we haven’t see the end of Docker acquistions. They will continue building the business by swallowing the best of the ecosystem that is growing around it. There is also a ton of activity on the partner front with IBM working with them on Enterprise Containers, Microsoft working on Azure. In fact I was told in my Docker briefing that Docker themselves are bringing Docker to Windows for Azure in a much faster timeline than even Microsoft.
Stay tuned for more on Docker and containers the rest of this month on DevOps.com.