Docker Steps Up Its Enterprise Game With New Container Software, Support

Docker, a startup building a business around Linux containers, unveiled new software and support offerings Tuesday in a bid to get enterprises more comfortable using the technology.

The new software, called Docker Trusted Registry, is for storing and sharing Docker images. It supports Active Directory and LDAP, as well as role-based access control and audit logs, all of which are a big deal for enterprises concerned with regulatory compliance.

Docker opened a beta for Docker Trusted Registry in February, and claims more than 800 organizations signed up -- more than half of them Fortune 500 companies.

[Related: Startup Docker Now Driving Industry Effort To Develop Standard For Containers]

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Docker Trusted Registry gives enterprise admins control over containers in their environments, and it also ties into an organization's existing access and control policies, David Messina, vice president of marketing at Docker, told CRN in an interview.

By allowing legacy apps to be broken down into smaller pieces, containers are a way for organizations to transition to distributed cloud apps. Containers also speed the process of developing and deploying software on any type of infrastructure, which is also fueling their popularity.

Paul Timmerman, vice president of technology at AdvizeX, an Independence, Ohio-based national solution provider, told CRN he thinks containers will have the same benefits for applications that virtualization technology has had for infrastructure.

"I can envision a future in which entire application landscapes are delivered in containers that are fully configured to work together out-of-box," Timmerman said. "Imagine an application with 20 or 30 servers that can be deployed instantly."

To get enterprises interested, Docker is introducing commercial support. The Docker Trusted Registry, in combination with support, means organizations can now create apps and run them in production with Docker, Messina said.

Docker is charging $150 per registry monthly for the Docker Trusted Registry plus support. Amazon Web Services, IBM and Microsoft have also signed up to resell the package.

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the purchasing arm of the federal government, is one of Docker's first customers for the combined offering. The GSA is using Docker to take giant monolithic apps and turn them into distributed smaller services, said Messina.

While it remains to be seen whether Docker can get more enterprises on board with containers, AdvizeX's Timmerman said the technology has already improved the software development process.

"The transformation is just beginning, the technology is still maturing, and it will take developers and systems administrator time to get their arms around it," said Timmerman. "But how we design, deploy and support applications will be fundamentally changed forever."