By John Katsaros and Tim Clark
Aug. 31, 2015
The race to become the operating system of the data center, described in Focus on Docker coverage "Fighting over the data center's operating system," is remarkably similar to the PC operating system war that took place in the early 1980s. Back then the contestants were Microsoft (known for building a Basic interpreter), Digital Research (creators of CP/M), Commodore (a PC hardware maker) and Apple (maker of Apple 2).
The winning prize, of course, turned out much bigger than anyone anticipated including: 1) a 30-year monopoly on the PC business, and 2) the richest man in the world.
It’s no wonder that venture capital investors trip over each other trying to get a piece of this pie when someone mentions the possibility of becoming the data center O/S. (Q: which would you rather be, the data center O/S or a container system for Linux? Answer: They are the same).
The money clearly affects the contestants for data center operating system: Mesosphere, Mirantis, Docker, maybe even VMware and Google, all currently contending. They have similar motivations to “go big,” and ithose motives are a harbinger of future consolidation in the industry. They can’t all get big, so losers get acquired, winners hope the spoils are as big as we at Focus on Docker believe they will be.
And what about the customers? We see the confusion created among data center professionals, the target market for these companies, by this perplexing message: “We’re all the operating system of the data center.”