It’s amazing how fast Docker has grown. Just a short time ago, it would have taken years for a product like Docker to gain a significant following. But in only 12 months since release of Docker 1.0, Docker has almost 1,000 contributors and thousands of downloads per month. The company, Docker Inc., has raised more than $100 million in venture funding.
What’s more, Docker fundamentally reshapes the choices that infrastructure software and hardware vendors make—it’s the ultimate Game Changer. For vendors, long-term roadmaps for product evolution must be recast. Throw away old plans and any market research from the pre-Docker era because it isn’t relevant any more. Docker has pushed the IT infrastructure business in an exciting new direction—we are at the very beginning of a journey likely to last a decade.
What lies ahead? The Docker ecosystem is actively evolving. Big players like Microsoft, IBM, Amazon Web Services and Google are engaged, some sooner than others. Laggard infrastructure companies will soon join to catch up. A raft of small start-ups, many still in stealth, is emerging or will soon. Incumbents in IT management, monitoring and security software are calculating their entry points. Hardware manufacturers are working on alliances and bundles.
Where are the holes/opportunities? Orchestration. Management. Security. DevOps. Microservices. The ripple effects of containers will require innovation in many areas of software.
Where are the production customers? Largely nowhere yet. We’re in the experimentation stage, waiting for the infrastructure hardware and software vendors to release mature products and for enterprises to build their own confidence. Today developer (and DevOps) enthusiasm for containers is stuck in the labs, not yet in production.