Docker isn’t the only name in containers

A few years ago Docker didn’t even exist. Up until the end of last year you’d still be forgiven if you hadn’t really heard of Docker. Suddenly, though Docker is everywhere. Every OS and cloud platform is scrambling to integrate native support for Docker and Docker seems to be THE container brand.

While that is true to an extent because Docker is so hot and has become so ubiquitous, Docker is not the only company offering a container technology. CoreOS, Microsoft and others have also developed their own containers. Docker is just the first big name in containers–not the only name.

I wrote this blog post about Docker’s role in the container revolution:

Unless you’re a developer in an organization that has already embraced the DevOps trend, you could be forgiven for not actually knowing what a “container” is or why it’s the next big thing. If you follow tech news at all, though, you’ve probably already heard of Docker.

Just so everyone’s caught up, a container in this context takes virtualization down to a smaller level. Where virtual servers allow for multiple instances of servers to exist as software on a single hardware platform, containers take virtualization down to the application level. The beauty of application containers is that they’re hardware and platform agnostic—meaning a container instance can be launched on any platform that supports it.

The rise of Docker maps to DevOps

The rise of DevOps in general, combined with the rise of Docker specifically, has put containers on the map. Two years ago, containers were an obscure niche technology. Now, organizations that don’t jump on the container bandwagon risk being left in the dust.

Docker launched in 2013, but it’s already a household name and has been successful at both finding investors and building support from big names in tech, including Microsoft and IBM. Microsoft announced last October that the next version of Windows Server will include native Docker support. Parallels also added native support for Docker containers in its Parallels Cloud Server.

Docker isn’t the first company to create a platform around containers, but it’s the first to take the concept mainstream. With DockerCon coming up in San Francisco later this month, it’s easy to see that Docker has established itself as the de facto container platform.

Not the only container game in town

Docker is a juggernaut right now, but it’s by no means the only player in the container arena, and that’s probably a good thing for developers and organizations. I have nothing against Docker, and I’m not suggesting there’s anything wrong with Docker as a container platform, but consumers love choice and competition drives innovation.

Check out the full story on TechBeacon: Docker is just the first “killer app” in the container revolution.

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