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Docker Unveils Enterprise Edition, An Integrated Container Platform Featuring Certified Tech Partners

The latest commercial product from the container tech pioneer delivers a platform to teams across the software life cycle buttressed by support and an enterprise-friendly release cadence.

Docker took another stride toward establishing a serious enterprise posture Thursday, integrating several of its products with partner certifications and support services into a platform tailored to meet the diverse needs of its largest customers.

Docker Enterprise Edition is the evolution of the San Francisco-based startup's commercial portfolio, which took its first step with Docker Datacenter, a platform delivering Containers-as-a-Service on private clouds, David Messina, Docker's vice president of marketing, told CRN.

Enterprise Edition, a subscription service, will be brought to market by the same accredited partners that currently resell Datacenter. The platform delivers the container tech pioneer's open-source tools—orchestration, machine management, security—with a new release cadence and technology partnerships.

[Related: Docker Introduces Secrets Management]

The enterprise platform comes in three flavors: Basic, Standard and Advanced.

The Basic edition includes the core containerization engine, Swarm orchestration, tools like Compose and Machine for defining and managing deployments, and certified partner solutions.

Standard encompasses all the features in Docker Datacenter. And Advanced adds to that image security scanning and vulnerability monitoring.

All are updated in quarterly releases that are supported for a year.

There's also a Docker Community Edition—a free version for do-it-yourselfers.

Beyond the tools geared to developers and IT operations teams across the software life cycle, Enterprise Edition optimizes and certifies those technologies for specific partner infrastructures through a new validation program.

"Enterprises want to be assured they have an open platform that can run on multiple Linux distributions, Windows Server and multiple clouds," Messina said. "That's important because other platforms in the container space are anchored to a specific cloud provider or Linux distribution. Docker's promise is portability."

Ensuring content sitting on top of Docker containers is highly portable by enterprise standards means certifying the interfaces that sit below the Docker engine, he said. The certification program validates, security scans and tests against APIs across hybrid infrastructure.

Enterprise Edition is certified to run on many popular Linux distributions: Red Hat, Oracle, Ubuntu, CentOS and SUSE. It also supports Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure as cloud platforms, and supports plugins from a range of hardware vendors, including Nutanix, NetApp and Cisco Systems.

"Enterprises have a great diversity of applications, some microservices apps, others giant monoliths that they're Dockerizing," Messina said. "The goal is to get all these applications running on the Docker platform."

The platform delivers greater return on investment than a solution that only supports one style of application, he said.

"It covers all the cloud, covers Linux and Windows and a whole suite of applications," Messina told CRN.

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