DockerCon 2016 has come and gone. What does Docker need to do between now and the next DockerCon to assure the success of Docker containers in the enterprise?
To be sure, Docker has come far at dotCloud in France. To keep moving forward, Docker needs to do the following:
Continue Enterprise Adoption of Docker Containers
Lots of recent studies (see here, here and here, for instance) indicate that container adoption for production environments is on the rise. But the definition of the “production” is very hazy. Most of the analyst have commented that these could be just the development teams. But there have been some major companies containerizing their infrastructure.
To maintain momentum, Docker needs to keep pushing enterprises not just to use containers for their development workflows, but also to replace their virtual servers with them. Otherwise, Docker will remain just a tool that programmers like, while clouds and data centers continue to run on VMware. It could just be a great packaging format for delivering.
Deliver Persistent Storage
Docker Data Volumes are Docker’s current solution for persistent data storage on containers. They do the job, but not in an especially simple or flexible way. Third-party vendors are delivering better options. Docker 1.12 introduces some small enhancements to the volume driver, such as identifying local or global accessibility, and it’s these incremental enhancements that we can expect more of. Systems and more. Most recently, Red Hat announced plans for a scale-out container storage solution based on Gluster and OpenShift. That’s good for Docker because it adds another storage solution to the ecosystem. But storage options such as Red Hat’s are tied to particular vendors’ own platforms. They’re not all-around answers.
To solve this challenge, Docker needs to offer better platform-agnostic storage solutions that anyone can use in any environment. It should not keep relying solely on partners to fill in the cracks in the container storage stack.
Partners and Ecosystem
Docker needs to define its partnership positions better. The company announced at DockerCon that it is going to bake orchestration tools into Docker itself. That makes Docker a much more complete solution for container deployment and management. It also undercuts the value of offerings from Docker partners, which deliver orchestration tools for containers. That means those partners are likely to become isolated. If Docker wants to avoid burning the partners that have helped build the container ecosystem up to its current state, it needs to offer them new ways to keep integrating, reselling and adding value to Docker containers.
If Docker doesn’t encourage partner engagement such as this, the ecosystem is likely to become stale.