I started following dotCloud in 2011, when the standard PaaS model was to offer a single stack that ran on a single provider’s infrastructure. I was impressed by dotCloud’s vision of a multi-language PaaS, which offered developers a wide variety of different stacks that worked well together. In the process, dotCloud built a great business around public PaaS.
In the past two years, however, it has become clear that the industry has a set of opportunities that even the broadest-based public PaaS can’t address. Developers want to be able to build their applications using an unlimited set of stacks, and run those aps on any available hardware in any hardware environments. Operators both inside and outside of the enterprise want to be able to run applications seamlessly. Almost every enterprise wants its own PaaS-like environment.
In other words, the industry seems to want not just a multi-language PaaS, but a limitless-language, multi-environment, and multi-enterprise PaaS.
Clearly, this is beyond the capabilities of any one organization or solution to deliver. But, an ecosystem, with the right open source technology, can deliver this.
So, I was exceptionally impressed when, in March of this year, Solomon Hykes and the dotCloud team took the bold step of releasing much of their core technology as the open source project, Docker. I’ve spent the past three months as an advisor to the Docker project, and have been consistently amazed by both the vision of the team, and by the incredible momentum and community that has built up behind Docker. I was so impressed, that I decided to come on board full time.
This is the new dotCloud/Docker vision of what PaaS (and software deployment in general) should be:
- Developers build their applications using their choice of any available services
- An application and its dependencies are packaged into a lightweight container
- Containerized applications run anywhere- a laptop, a VM, an OpenStack Cluster, the public cloud—without modification or delay
With Docker, developers can finally build once and run virtually anywhere. Operators can configure once, and run virtually anything.
We think this will have huge implications for a wide variety of use cases, from developers shipping code, to continuous integration, to web scale deployment and hybrid clouds. Indeed, most of the biggest trends in IT today (hybrid clouds, scale out architecture, big data) depend on making some version of this vision work.
The community seems to agree. In a little more than four months, we’ve gotten over 4,000 github stars, 30,000 pulls, over 100 significant contributors, and have seen huge numbers of applications getting “Dockerized”. Moreover, we’ve seen some of the largest web companies start to deploy Docker inside their environments. We’ve seen over 100 derivative projects built on top of Docker. And, our community has integrated Docker into key open source ecosystem projects like Chef, Puppet, Vagrant, Jenkins, and OpenStack.
So…why am I excited? I’ve been fortunate to build businesses at four successful startups (twice as CEO). I’ve learned there are few things as rewarding as joining a great team and community, using innovative and disruptive technology, and solving wide ranging and important problems. Combined with great investors, obvious momentum, a sound existing business, and some exciting new business models, I can’t imagine a better place to be than dotCloud and Docker.
With thanks to Solomon, the team at dotCloud, and the whole community, I look forward to the road ahead!
Read the full press release here.