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Datadog 2015 Predictions: The Year of the Container Wars


Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2015.  Read them in this series exclusive.

Contributed article by Alex Rosemblat, Director of Marketing, Datadog

2015: The year of the container wars

2014 will be remembered as the year of container. Few outside of the most "bleeding edge" circles had heard of Docker at this time last year. Yet today, Docker is the hottest technology on the market. However, Docker's market offering has begun to splinter into a number of directions, as the project's current ambitions have caused significant scope creep. Other entrants are already beginning to make moves to capitalize on the container demand that Docker has created. This trend will only increase: 2015 will be the year of the container wars.

Docker initially started as an evolution of previous open source containerization projects. By developing additional "glue" components that allowed for containers to be used in an accessible, prod-ready fashion, Docker lit the match for the container market. Because there's little money to be made solely off of containers, an open-source commodity, Docker recently began developing management components such as Docker Hub Enterprise and working with large platform vendors like Microsoft, VMware, Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services to develop tailored offshoots that could be more directly monetized.

These efforts however divert Docker from their previously singular focus on developing the underlying container engine. In an opening salvo for 2015's container war, one of Docker's early adopters, CoreOS, released their own container project "Rocket". This was accompanied by claims that they were motivated to do so because of loss of faith in Docker's direction. Other potential entrants, like the stealth startup Bracket Computing, seem to be gearing up to get into the container game armed with over $85M of venture funding!

2015 will see increasing competition in the containerization space. Aside from growth in the projects from the nimble startups mentioned above (and likely more to come), the changes in infrastructure that containers enable could threaten large incumbent firms such as VMware and Red Hat. Such companies may create their own container projects as a hedge. Other large players looking to create a marquee product to further advance into the cloud market such as HP, Oracle and IBM could see a new containerization initiative as their best chance to make a big move.

Ultimately for the broader market, this will add a multitude of options and challenges for organizations that choose to take the container route. It will be difficult to choose a container vendor, as these projects will evolve quickly until market needs stabilize. Also, availability of performance instrumentation, configuration management, and all of the support tools needed to get a new platform production-ready will become key enablers for each container project. Vendors of these tools will have to develop quickly to keep up with the innovation coming out of the "container wars."


About the Author

Alex Rosemblat is Director of Marketing at Datadog. Previous to Datadog, Alex served as the Product Marketer for Dell’s Cloud and Virtualization product family (via the acquisition of VKernel), bringing to market virtualization management and cloud monitoring software products. Alex has several years of experience with enterprise software and related technologies through product management, IT consulting, and pre-sales engineering with Symantec (via the acquisition of SwapDrive) and Epic Systems Corporation. He holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Commerce, specializing in IT, from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Published Friday, December 19, 2014 7:00 AM by David Marshall
@VMblog - (Author's Link) - February 10, 2015 6:57 AM

Once again, how great is it to be a part of the virtualization and cloud industries? 2014 was another banner year, and we witnessed a number of fantastic technologies take shape and skyrocket. And I, along with many industry experts and executives, media

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