Docker Gets Support from Microsoft Azure

Docker 1.0 released, and has backing Microsoft in new capability that allows Azure to create Docker-enabled VMs.

Microsoft is lending support to the Docker open source application containerization solution by enabling users to create Docker-enabled virtual machines via Azure's command line tools. Those features were announced and featured at the DockerCon event being held in San Francisco this week.

Docker also announced a new program of enterprise support for building, shipping, and running distributed applications using the open platform. is an open source project focused on creating a means of building, managing and deploying applications as lightweight, portable, self-sufficient software containers. The project has attracted more than 450 contributors and generated more than a million downloads, according to the company. More than 14,000 "Dockerized" applications are currently listed on the Docker public Registry, and about 7,000 projects on GitHub have "Docker" in their titles. And big-name companies, from Red Hat to Google, and now Microsoft, have adopted the technology.

The Docker 1.0 release signifies that the 15-month old project is ready for mission-critical workloads, according to Scott Johnston, Docker's senior vice president of products development.

"What we're saying with this release is that, after just over a year of mainly community-driven innovation -- 95% was not contributed by Docker Inc. -- Docker has gone beyond the developer laptop and the lab," Johnston said. "We're saying that we've got the requirements run to ground, we've stressed it and test it, and now it's ready for the data center."

The Docker platform merges the packaging engine with a new cloud service for distributed applications, including container image distribution and change management, user and team collaboration, lifecycle workflow automation and third-party services integration. Together they provide an environment in which developers and sysadmins can build, ship and run distributed applications.

"Docker as a container engine has been the focus of the conversation over the past year," Johnston said. "But Docker as a platform is much more interesting. We've watched the community and our customers applying this technology to some pretty sophisticated computing problems. Now it literally looks like Docker is a full-on platform."

The platform also includes a new Docker enterprise support program, which the company says will provide enterprise IT customers with "the training, expertise, and support necessary to stand-up mission-critical workloads built on the Docker platform."

This initial release of Docker Hub includes a number of components:

  • An integrated console for managing users, teams, containers, repositories and workflows;
  • The Docker Hub Registry, where more than 14,000 Dockerized apps will be available as "building blocks;"
  • A number of collaboration tools;
  • An automated build service;
  • The Webhooks service for automating repetitive workflows for build pipelines; and
  • The Docker Hub API.

Over the past year, Docker-style container-based virtualization, or "containerization," has become a must-have capability, said IDC analyst Al Hilwa. Docker's collaboration with Red Hat, announced in April, marked an important milestone, he said, demonstrating that containerization has become suitable for many production environments.

"Organizations looking to simplify application deployment and improve operational efficiency and infrastructure utilization should consider standardized containerization approaches such as Docker," Hilwa said.

"This is important technology for the evolution of PaaS," Hilwa added,via email. "It is an important way to get standardization at the sub-virtual machine level, allowing portable apps to be packaged in a lightweight fashion and easily and reliably be consumed by PaaS clouds everywhere. The level of ecosystem support Docker has gained is stunning and it speaks to the need for this kind of technology in the market and the value it provides. This ecosystem is a great omen for the future richness of the Docker Hub and the company's business strategy."

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].


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