Container company also names new CEO, raises $35 million in restructuring effort
Container pioneer Docker is doubling down on developers, selling its enterprise business to Kubernetes and cloud expert Mirantis and bringing in a new CEO to lead the restructuring of the company.
The Lowdown: As part of the restructuring announced this week, Docker, which was founded in 2013 and has fueled the trend of using containers to more easily move workloads to the cloud, also recapitalized its equity and raised $35 million from current investors Benchmark Capital and Insight Partners. The money will be used to help developers as they build and run modern workloads.
The Details: Docker CEO Rob Bearden, who came to the company in May after serving as Hortonworks’ CEO, will be replaced by Scott Johnson, currently the container company’s chief product officer. No timeline was given for Johnson taking over the top spot.
The Docker project was launched in 2013 to find a way to make it easier for developers to ship their codes, a move that has driven the rise of containers, microservices, and the Kubernetes container orchestration platform, which was originally a Google technology. According to Bearden, the company has since developed two distinct organizations – one focused on developers and the other aimed at enterprises.
The goal of the restructuring is to put the company’s full attention on developers and build out its Docker Desktop and Docker Hub products. Mirantis will continue developing Docker’s Enterprise Platform, using the technology and new employees from Docker to accelerate its efforts around Kubernetes-as-a-Service.
Among the capabilities Mirantis wants to grow on the Enterprise Platform are zero-touch, as-a-service operations and Mirantis Kubernetes, and other cloud-related technologies. The company also wants to build a proven enterprise model around the platform. In addition, Mirantis and Docker will continue to ensure the continued integration of their products.
The Impact: The key drivers behind the fast growth of containers are improved security, improved operational efficiency, and management cost reductions, according to IDC analysts. In addition, such modern workloads like big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning have fueled end-user interest in container technologies, they said.
Background: According to Docker, the company has grown rapidly over the past six years, with more than 750 customers around the world and more than 105 billion container downloads.
The Buzz: “I joined Docker to lead the next phase of its growth. After conducting thorough analysis with the management team and the board of directors, we determined that Docker had two very distinct and different businesses – one an active developer business and the other a growing enterprise business,” Bearden said. “We also found that the product and the financial models were vastly different. This led to the decision to restructure the company and separate the two businesses, which is the best thing for customers and to enable Docker’s industry-leading technology to thrive. Developers run deep in Docker’s heritage. Therefore, after completing the analysis, it was a natural decision to refocus Docker back on this critical community.”
“Addressing the needs of developers has been core to Docker since its inception. Developers want the freedom to choose their own tools, the flexibility to quickly try new technologies, and the ability to deploy their applications anywhere, independent of the underlying infrastructure,” Johnston said. “Going forward, in partnership with the community and ecosystem, we will expand Docker Desktop and Docker Hub’s roles in the developer workflow for modern apps. Specifically, we are investing in expanding our cloud services to enable developers to quickly discover technologies for use when building applications, to easily share these apps with teammates and the community, and to run apps frictionlessly on any Kubernetes endpoint, whether locally or in the cloud.”
“The Mirantis Kubernetes technology joined with the Docker Enterprise Container Platform brings simplicity and choice to enterprises moving to the cloud. Delivered as a service, it’s the easiest and fastest path to the cloud for new and existing applications,” Mirantis co-founder and CEO Adrian Ionel said. “The Docker Enterprise employees are among the most talented cloud native experts in the world and can be immensely proud of what they achieved. We’re very grateful for the opportunity to create an exciting future together and welcome the Docker Enterprise team, customers, partners, and community.”