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Docker Acquires SocketPlane

March 4, 2015 – From Docker Press Release

Docker, Inc., the corporate sponsor of the open platform for distributed applications, today announced the acquisition of software-defined networking (SDN) startup SocketPlane

SAN FRANCISCO – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Docker, Inc., the corporate sponsor of the open platform for distributed applications, today announced the acquisition of software-defined networking (SDN) startup SocketPlane. SocketPlane, which was founded in Q4, 2014 with a vision of delivering Docker-native networking, has been an active participant in shaping the initial efforts around Docker’s open API for networking. The explicit focus of the SocketPlane team within Docker will be on collaborating with the partner community to complete a rich set of networking APIs that addresses the needs of application developers and network and system administrators alike.

“Networking is a critical part of the stack for distributed applications and has become an increasing area of focus within the Docker partner ecosystem due to the rapid growth in multi-container, multi-host applications”

The powerful combination of Docker bringing networking directly to the application and being completely infrastructure independent provides for a model where competing vendors can work from one standard, while optimizing their own technologies for differentiation. For developers, they are assured complete application portability at every step of the application lifecycle with the knowledge that their composable services will communicate uniformly anywhere.

“Networking is a critical part of the stack for distributed applications and has become an increasing area of focus within the Docker partner ecosystem due to the rapid growth in multi-container, multi-host applications,” said Solomon Hykes, chief architect of the Docker Project and founder and CTO of Docker, Inc. “To sustain the velocity of community advancements in open, modular and secure Docker networking, we felt we needed to support those efforts with a dedicated team. Given the SocketPlane team’s collective experience with virtually every open source SDN effort, we felt they were the right people to carry forward our ‘batteries included, but swappable’ approach to drive a thriving networking ecosystem.”

Docker brings networking to the application itself; all Docker containers can interact in concert as a distributed application securely over an IP infrastructure free from costly approaches like dedicated and proprietary application communication buses. SDN efforts for Docker provide infrastructure freedom of choice where admins can select which networking “batteries” are right for an application specific use case. In this manner, all aspects of networking can be software-defined with complete portability that ensures that a distributed application is not bound to a specific vendor or cloud provider.

“We started SocketPlane with a goal of creating the best networking solution in the Docker ecosystem,” said Madhu Venugopal, CEO of SocketPlane. “We’re now excited to be broadening that vision to support and empower the partner ecosystem to create the best solutions possible for users. Given the myriad of networking use cases enabled by Docker, we believe strongly that we will be fostering broad opportunities for partners to build differentiated capabilities based upon Docker’s open standards.”

Venugopal and the SocketPlane team of six are, as of today, employees of Docker, Inc. and working out of Docker headquarters in San Francisco. The team is comprised of networking veterans with a track record of success at Cisco, Red Hat, HP and Dell. Members of the SocketPlane team have previously provided leadership in working on open standards for SDN including involvement with OpenStack, OpenDaylight, Open vSwitch as well as Open Virtual Network (OVN) of which Venugopal is a co-author. More recently, the team has been actively involved in the open design sprints around Docker networking that led to initial Docker networking API efforts. Venugopal and his team will lead these efforts on a go forward basis.