Tag Archives: Docker

Why Open Source Is Eating The World

In 2011 Marc Andreessen explained in his monumental essay “why software is eating the world“. This originally controversial statement is by now a well-established fact of life. So what the next step in the evolution? I argue it’s open source.

Open Source Is Eating The World

Yes, you’ve heard it right. Open source is no longer just a topic for computer geeks running techie experiments and for bootstrapped startups looking to save some bucks. Open source has become mainstream. You don’t have to take my word for it, just take a look at this year’s multi-billion dollar mergers and acquisitions (M&A):

  • IBM is acquiring Red Hat, the first open source company to cross $1B revenues, for $34 billion.
  • Cloudera and Hortonworks, the vendors behind open source Hadoop that started the Big Data Analytics wave, are merging in a $5.2 billion deal.
  • Microsoft acquired GitHub, the popular version control system, for $7.5 billion.
  • Salesforce acquired MuleSoft, a popular open source messaging and integration middleware platform, for $6.5 billion in May. Interestingly enough, last week Salesforce made a strategic investment in Docker, another popular open source vendor for containers, alongside MuleSoft’s announced partnership with Docker. Could that mark Salesforce’s next major open source move?

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Mergers and acquisitions, however, are not enough to make such a paradigm shift. As a young engineer I grew up programming in Java, using Solaris Unix and Open Office, all of which are open source software by Sun Microsystems. Then Oracle acquired Sun in 2009. Has Oracle changed its core DNA following that acquisition? Not exactly.

It takes more than just commercial M&A.
The big players need to embrace and commit to open source culture.
And indeed I see that happening in an increasing pace:

Microsoft is a great example: As I pointed out already back in 2015, Microsoft has made a strategic choice to embrace open source. Just last month Corporate Vice President Nat Friedman, who was recently appointed as GitHub CEO, made waves when he tweeted the open sourcing of Microsoft’s patent portfolio:

Microsoft is pledging our massive patent portfolio – over 60,000 patents – to Linux and open source by joining OIN this morning. If you’re looking for signs that we are serious about being the world’s largest open source company, look no further.

Another example from last month is IBM, which pledged its commitment to open source as an integral part of Red Hat’s acquisition:

With this acquisition, IBM will remain committed to Red Hat’s open governance, open source contributions, participation in the open source community and development model, and fostering its widespread developer ecosystem. In addition, IBM and Red Hat will remain committed to the continued freedom of open source, via such efforts as Patent Promise, GPL Cooperation Commitment, the Open Invention Network and the LOT Network.

The modern giants, who were born into the open source era, started off with open source as an integral part of their development culture. For example Kubernetes, the leading containers orchestration platform and the 2nd most active project on GitHub, originated in a project which Google open sourced to the Linux Foundation. Now you’d find even Google’s bitter rivals collaborating there. That’s the beauty of open source movement.

Even the traditional Telecommunications industry, which tends to lag behind IT and trust heavily on standardization bodies, have come to embrace open source as their new and agile way forward, reaching dozens of open source projects under the Linux Foundation alone. A prime example is Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), which itself is a unification of open sources from east and west.

Open source movement is not just limited to software. I’m not going to delve into it in this post, but there are great examples of hardware open source, such as Open Compute Project backed by Facebook (which initiated it), Google and others.

Open source is here. Leading vendors embrace it; Enterprises and governments use it; Cloud providers and system integrators offer services for it; Communities innovate on it.

Open Source Is Eating The World.

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Edge Computing Draws Startups And Venture Capital

Edge computing is the new hype, some see it as the next big thing after Cloud Computing. Edge computing is drawing attention by the major cloud vendors,  as well as by Tier 1 telecom carriers, standards bodies and consortia.

But the big guys are not alone here. As with anything hot and innovative, Edge Computing draw also the attention of the lean and mean – the startups.

Vapor IO is an interesting US-based startup which provides an edge computing platform enabling simple way to deploy and manage cloud servers. Vapor IO provides both the hardware and the software to remotely administer, manage and monitor the distributed environment. Its main focus is helping telecom carriers and wireless base-station landowners to offer cloud compute capabilities in close proximity to the Radio Access Network (RAN). In June Vapor IO launched Project Volutus, with the ambitious mission statement:

Project Volutus seeks to build the world’s largest network of distributed edge data centers by placing thousands of Vapor Chambers at the base of cell towers and directly cross-connecting them to the wireless networks. This will make it possible to push true cloud capabilities to within yards of the end device or application, one hop from the wireless network.


Vapor IO backs its ambitious statement with a strategic investor Crown Castle, the largest wireless tower company in the US, which leases towers to all the top wireless carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. With Vapor IO tapping to Crown Castle’s existing network of 40,000 cell towers and 60,000 miles of fiber optic lines in metropolitan areas, the startup seems up to fulfilling its vision. Vapor IO is also among the founding members of Open19, a an open foundation formed by LinkedIn together with HPE and GE to establish open standards for truly open, innovative platform for data centers and edge platforms.

Another interesting US-based startup is Packet with its bare-metal distributed micro datacenters. In July Packet announced expanding to Ashburn, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Seattle, along with new international locations in Frankfurt, Toronto, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Sydney. This amounts to 15 global locations to date. Packet’s technology is based on the hottest industry trends: cloud and containers. They also partnered with major new-age technology players such as Docker, Mesosphere and Cloud66. Packet’s vision is also well-backed, seeing its last funding round of $9.4M led by telecom and internet giant SoftBank. In their customer base you’ll find Cisco, the industry leader in networking.

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Prometheus Joins Google’s Kubernetes In Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Last August the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) was founded by important names such as Google, CoreOS, Docker, Weaveworks, Mesosphere and others, and was hosted under the Linux Foundation. The first contribution to CNCF was Kubernetes, which Google open-sourced for that end, and served as the cornerstone of CNCF’s open source stack.

Last week CNCF accepted its second project: Prometheus. Prometheus is a monitoring and alerting toolkit backed by a powerful time series database. Such monitoring and alerting is an important part of any large-scale system, which a cloud-native reference architecture needs to address. Kubernetes and Prometheus already play well together, as Kubernetes exposes Prometheus metrics natively. Nonetheless, Prometheus supports many other monitoring targets and service discovery integrations, from Graphite and Consul to simple SNMP and JMX that enable open-ended and custom integrations.


Unlike Kubernetes at the time, Prometheus is already open source and backed by an active community. Among the impressive users of Prometheus you’d find several members of CNCF such as Google, CoreOS, Docker and Weaveworks, which probably made its acceptance easier. In its announcement Prometheus team said:

By joining the CNCF, we hope to establish a clear and sustainable project governance model, as well as benefit from the resources, infrastructure, and advice that the independent foundation provides to its members.

Another candidate to join CNCF is Data Center Operating System (DC/OS), which was open-sourced by Mesosphere last month. Seeing that Mesosphere is a founding member of CNCF, it’s reasonable to estimate they’d host DC/OS there. With an active community of more than 60 partner companies, this could be a serious tail wind for the foundation.

So who’s next in line for Cloud Native Computing Foundation?

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New ‘Cloud Native Computing Foundation’ Trying to Standardize on Cloud and Containers

Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is a new open standardization initiative recently formed under the Linux Foundation with the mission of providing standard reference architecture for cloud native applications and services, based on open-source software (OSS). The first OSS is Google’s Kubernetes, which was released in v1.0 the same day, and was donated by Google to the foundation.

Google is one of the 22 founding members, together with big names such as IBM, Intel, Redhat, VMware, AT&T, Cisco and Twitter, as well as important names in the containers realm such as Docker, Mesosphere, CoreOS and Joynet.

The announcement of the new foundation came only a few weeks after the announcement of the Open Container Initiative (OCI), also formed under the Linux Foundation. Even more interesting to note that almost half of the founding companies of CNCF are among the founders of OCI. According to the founders, these two initiatives are complementary: while OCI is focused on standardizing the image and runtime format for containers, CNCF will target the bigger picture of how to assemble components to address a comprehensive set of container application infrastructure needs, starting with the orchestration level, based on Kubernetes. This is the same bottom-up dynamics as we see in most other initiatives and projects, starting from standardizing on the infrastructure and then continuing upwards: cloud computing evolved same way from IaaS to PaaS and to SaaS, Network Function Virtualization (NFV) evolved from the NFV Infrastructure to Management and Orchestration (MANO), etc.

Open strategy has become the name of the game and all the big companies realize that in order to take the technology out of infancy and enabling its adoption in large-scale production deployments in enterprises they need to take the lead on the open field. Google’s Kubernetes and its recent contribution to CNCF is one example. Now we’ll wait to see which other open-source ingredients will be incorporated and which blueprint will emerge and how it succeeds in meeting the industry’s varying use cases.

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HP Acquires Stackato Aiming to Bring Hybrid Cloud to Enterprises

Enterprises are looking to transform their IT to a more lean operation, in the spirit of recent trends of cloud computing and hybrid clouds, DevOps and containers, which have emerged from the open-source communities. Major IT vendors have identified this potential and are putting a lot of effort in developing Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) to enable the transition of enterprises.

Last October HP launched (as part of HP Helion cloud platform) its own PaaS offering code-named HP Helion Development Platform, based on CloudFoundry open-source PaaS. Now HP took a step further and acquired Stackato, a platform based on CloudFoundry and Docker containers, to enhance its PaaS offering with support for hybrid cloud model, and to speed up delivery times and ease of IT configuration. According to the statement:

HP’s acquisition of Stackato further demonstrates our commitment to Cloud Foundry technology and broadens our hybrid cloud capabilities.

While HP is betting heavily on CloudFoundry, it is also betting seriously on containers. A month and a half ago HP joined the Open Containers Initiative (OCI). The open approach of OCI is also aligned with HP’s strategic choice to make HP Helion based on open-source community-backed projects such as CloudFoundry, Eucalyptus (which HP acquired last year) and OpenStack. Interesting to note that OpenStack community also addressed hybrid cloud and containers on its recent releases.

HP is not the only one to realize the trend. Cloud and containers have been growing closer to bring hybrid IT to enterprises, with all major players offering combined offerings, including IBM, Google, Amazon, Micrsofot and VMware.

Last month HP filed to split into two companies – HP Enterprise and HP Inc. – to enable each one to be more focused and flexible “to adapt quickly to market and customer dynamics”. The newly-formed HP Enterprise will focus on the enterprise business including servers, storage, networking, converged systems and Helion cloud platform, without the burden of HP’s traditional printers and PC businesses (left for HP Inc.). In this fast-paced, dynamic and highly competitive realm of agile IT and cloud computing, HP Enterprise would need that flexibility and agility to gain the lead.

* Update: a couple of months after the above acquisition HP announced shutting down its public cloud, and focusing on hybrid cloud offering, in line with the above post. You can read more on this post.

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Industry Standardizing on Containers with Open Container Project

* Update: the foundation has decided to rename from Open Container Project (OCP) to Open Container Initiative (OCI)


“Open” is not just providing open source software. It’s also, and perhaps more importantly, about open standards, enabling the community to converge on one single path and work together on improving it. The absence of such agreement drives the community to wars for domination, especially in emerging fields. We see that with the Internet of Things, with cloud computing and network virtualization.

The containers community, headed by Docker, was no different. Docker’s success drew the attention of every major player, including every major player in the cloud and DevOps world, and created competing standards which threatened to draw everyone into battles for domination. But there’s good news. This week at DockerCon 2015 these players joined forces to form the Open Container Project (OCP).  The new governance body, formed under The Linux Foundation, aims to create standards around container format and runtime. And though under Linux Foundation governance, it certainly targets other operating systems, with Microsoft pushing Windows.


The Open Container Project has all major cloud players, including Amazon, Google (which promotes Kubernetes), Microsoft, HP, IBM. It also has players in the DevOps scene such as Docker itself and CoreOS (which offers a prominent competing container called appc), Mesosphere, Rancher Labs, Red Hat and VMware/EMC.

Seems Docker will be leading the path, writing the first draft of the format specification and using Docker’s implementation as baseline. Docker’s first contribution is runC, which is already available on the project’s GitHub page. But that’s only the beginning. The true test will be the adoption within enterprises, which have been struggling in adopting the technology.

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Docker Raises $95M Series D Round

The buzz around Docker doesn’t cease. And Docker is riding the tide with a fourth round of funding, raising another $95 million, with massive $400 million valuation. Not that they need the money. Some say still have funding from the 2nd round. But they have a momentum, and they want to capitalize on it.

The $400M valuation is very high, but not surprising in the venture capital sphere, given that every major player out there is chasing to integrate with Docker, including giants such as Google and Microsoft. Docker is also storming into the cloud, establishing itself as the new model for application packaging, deployment and management in private and public cloud environments.

Docker has plans on addressing enterprise concerns such as storage, networking and security. It makes sense the current round would be used to push these topics. Now awaiting details from the source.

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