​Docker snaps up Tutum to expand its cloud offering into DevOps

21 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Docker Acquires Tutum.

Docker announced today that it was purchasing Tutum, a cloud service focused on deploying and managing Docker containers in any environment, whether the cloud or on-premises.But actually getting started with Docker has always been a challenge — software containers are still a relatively new market, with Docker kicking off the trend at its 2013 launch.

Docker, the startup behind the popular Linux container format, has acquired Tutum, which provides an easy way to manage containerized applications and deploy them on any cloud infrastructure service or in companies’ own data centers.Docker Inc have announced their acquisition of Tutum, ‘The Docker Platform for Dev and Ops’ that allows users to ‘Build, deploy, and manage your apps across any cloud’.

That’s why Docker just announced the purchase of Madrid-based startup Tutum: A tiny, 11-person company that has a popular tool for managing and maintaining Docker’s software containers across any cloud platform. With today’s purchase, the company is really completing that third piece — the running the containers part — which it has mostly left to programmers to deal with on their own up until now. Tutum adds an infrastructure management capability to Docker’s existing tool set that helps developers take an application from development to production.

It has 24,000 users for its beta product, which had always been designed to seamlessly integrate with Docker and let apps run wherever customers wanted. Docker, a company built around open source technology, also expects the cloud service to become a significant new revenue stream, in addition to its existing money-making product called Docker Hub Enterprise.

It can also work with a ‘bring your own node’ model on other clouds or a customer’s own hardware by installing a Tutum agent, which works on a variety of recent Linux distros (that have up to date Docker support). In some ways this step was defeating the the speed and agility containers are supposed to offer developers and operations teams, Scott Johnston, SVP of product at Docker explained. The main benefit of Docker is that a developer can write their code once and deploy it on anywhere — from a laptop to a virtual machine running on Amazon’s cloud service — without any changes. With the Tutum purchase, Docker is able to deliver a more complete package of services for its customers, which is becoming increasingly important as the product matures. “Enterprise IT markets want a product that works, so they can focus on building applications, not on maintaining custom scripts and rewriting them for every version change. In an age where gigantic data centers can be rented for their supercomputing power by the minute, it can make programmers a lot more productive if they don’t have to worry about the infrastructure on which their apps are running.

The value of Tutum is its integrated set of capabilities, including networking, storage, monitoring, and scheduling, under one umbrella, Messina explained. Tutum founder Borja Burgos said, “It’s about giving users choice”, whilst Docker enterprise marketing VP David Messina added, “Through the whole life cycle”, suggesting that developers might choose a particular environment for their work whilst operations teams might deploy to production elsewhere. While container services by cloud infrastructure giants Amazon, Microsoft, and Google focus on lower-level infrastructure tasks like clustering and scheduling, Tutu’s platform “covers the whole application lifecycle,” he said. Tutum is presently in beta, with their website stating, “Once Tutum is production ready, you will automatically move to our free forever Developer plan”. Besides application management tools for developers, Tutum enables IT operations teams to deploy applications across distributed infrastructure that can consist of multiple cloud services or data centers and move applications from one set of infrastructure to another.

It requires a whole bunch of other tools, including the likes of Google’s Kubernetes or VMware’s Project Photon, to take advantage of Docker’s benefits. Docker do however see Tutum as part of their monetization model going forward, adding to their Docker Trusted Registry that can be run on-premise or consumed from the cloud based Docker Hub. Services such as ECS and GKE essentially charge for the underlying virtual machine instances that are used to host containers, with no premium for the management layer itself, so Docker/Tutum must see consistent cross cloud deployment and management as being something that will command a premium from their customers. Tutum was founded in October, 2013 when Docker was barely even a product yet, but its two founders, Borja Burgos and Fernando Mayo, saw the future in Docker containers before many people even knew what Docker was.

Burgos described Docker as the type of innovative technology you see once in a decade, and he and his partner decided to go for it, hitching their wagons and immediate future to Docker. It makes the Docker software itself available for free as “open source,” meaning that developers everywhere can download it and contribute code back to the project, if they so choose. With Tutum, any developer using Docker has a tool to access Amazon Web Services or any other IT infrastructure and essentially lay out the welcome mat for their containers. No plans have yet been announced for how the overlaps will be resolved, but the Tutum team of 11 will be moving to from their offices in Madrid and NYC to Docker’s headquarters in San Francisco to work on closer integration.

While Tutum has been popular with the Docker community, boasting 24,000 users, as an 11-person operation it sometimes had trouble convincing larger enterprise customers that it had the cachet to deliver the goods. The key difference with Tutum is that the end user chooses and pays for the infrastructure (as a service) rather than Docker Inc having to make an investment in their own infrastructure and take care of scaling and multi tenancy. It saw Tutum as a natural fit, filling in a big hole, while having a satisfied customer base, proven ability to scale and the cultural fit Docker looks for in an acquisition target. Docker also see themselves as differentiating against more opinioned PaaS by offering the flexibility to use any language or framework within a container.

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