By Larry Gordon and Tim Clark
October 21, 2015
Docker Inc. has made another small acquisition to expand its platform, buying 11-employee Tutum to build out its capabilities to deploy and manage Docker containers through its Docker Hub. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Tutum, based in New York, has been active as a Docker ecosystem partner and contributor to Docker’s open source code. Docker says that integrating Tutum with Docker Hub, a cloud service for automating development team workflows, Docker will deliver “a complete commercial solution for IT teams to collaboratively build, ship and run production-ready distributed applications." See full Docker news release here.
That claim is somewhat odd because Docker, before the acquisition, had touted its software as a full solution for building, managing and deploying Docker containers. Docker apparently wanted a more elegant solution and one that works on any infrastructure.
One Docker ecosystem partner derided the deal as an “acqui-hire” to add a chunk of developers to Dockers roughly 180 headcount. “The hosted container cloud is what they got rid of when they divested of the dotCloud stuff,” this partner sniffed, referring to Docker’s move in August 2014 to sell its hosting service, dotCloud, to cloudControl so Docker could concentrate on its container business.
Scott Johnston, Docker’s VP of Product, positioned the acquisition as “the last mile of [Docker] application delivery” and as “tooling” for Docker, suggesting perhaps that Tutum may eventually be folded into the overall Docker offering.
Without Tutum, Johnston said, the processes for deploying Docker applications could take days or weeks; with Tutum and Docker Hub, deployments can take minutes or hours. It’s a classic workflow efficiency play plus the ability to deploy, manage and migrate distributed applications across any infrastructure, on-premise or in the cloud.
Tutum’s service, operational since October 2013, has been used in beta by 24,000 organizations, up from 1,500 in August 2014, when Tutum received $2.65 million in equity funding from Azure Capital Partners, NXTP Labs and RTP Ventures. Johnston said the Tutum team will initially remain its own business unit.