Suppose that you work on an application day and night. After approximately two months, it’s done and it works really well. In your view, it has the power to lessen the procedural burdens of organizations, regardless of how they are hierarchized or spread out. You are proud of what you’ve achieved.
However, when you put it to the test on someone else’s personal computer, you are shocked to find out that it doesn’t look like the streamlined masterpiece that you’ve worked so hard on. Not only that, it ceases to function as expected.
This is a horror story that many developers all over the world are too familiar with. Oftentimes, applications that are developed in one environment fail to behave as expected in another environment that has its own unique configurations. Thankfully, this problem is cleverly solved by the amazing teams at Docker, Inc. They introduced the virtual containerization process for applications.
What are containers?
At the heart of any Pro Docker training program is a course that clearly explains what containers are and what they are for. In a nutshell, a container is technology that allows an application and its dependencies (libraries, etc.) to be isolated from the configurations of their host system. This way, the unique settings that are crucial to the application’s functioning remain unaltered. This technology, in a way, creates a portable operating-system-like environment for the application so that it runs as it should anywhere.
Because this technology is a huge blessing to developers and system administrators, interest in it quickly grew. Soon enough, investors and open source contributors from all over the globe were flocking to Docker to further explore their newly discovered technology’s potential. And this is where Docker, Inc.’s corporate woes begin.
The container is worth it, but the bearer isn’t
Up to the present, Docker Inc.’s investor portfolio is still expanding. On the surface, this looks like great news, but business insiders say that this is actually a source of concern. Too much reliance on investors reveals a weakness: the company still has not figured a sure way to make money of its own. This only invites competitors and makes money-making a lot more difficult for Docker.
And competitors did come. In fact, Docker Inc. just “merged” with one. A Google offspring, Kubernetes capitalizes on the orchestration of containers, a relevant field that Docker has failed to maximize for its own benefit.
Because Docker is the older entity of the two, it initially appeared that it is Kubernetes that joins a bigger community. But a lead engineer at Kubernetes caused quite a stir when he said, “I’m really excited to welcome Solomon (Hykes, founder of Docker) and Docker to the Kubernetes community.” The merger, it now appears, is actually not a formalization of a partnership but a painful concession to defeat. And it is Docker that is on the losing end, awkwardly contained in the backseat as Kubernetes parades around winning paying customers.
What’s in this for developers?
To be quite frank, Docker’s business woes are not that much of a concern for developers and the computing world in general. Even if the entity that started it falls, container technology will remain and continue to evolve into something more useful.
But there is still time for Docker. With all their investors, they also still have money. By now, they should be busy trying to find ways to ramp up their business. No one in the developer community is happy to see the abrupt end of their participation in the vibrant process of improving container technology.