Docker looks big biz in the eye: It's not you, it's EE – Enterprise Edition

Straight out of the Red Hat playbook: Take your VM images and pay for support


Docker has extended its product line by adding two E's, for Enterprise Edition, a version of its container software tuned to the demands of businesses.

Docker EE takes the firm's container runtime, mixes it with orchestration (managing clustering and scheduling), security, and administrative tools, then wraps it up in images for AWS, Azure, CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Oracle Linux, SUSE Enterprise Linux Server, Ubuntu, and Windows Server 2016.

And of course there are tiers, with fees for support: Basic ($750/year); Standard ($1,500/year); and Advanced ($2,000/year). Cloud hosting costs are not included.

David Messina, SVP of marketing and community at Docker, in a phone interview with The Register, said Docker EE represents an evolution of the company's earlier enterprise offering, Docker Datacenter.

Docker EE is more platform than product. "Our commercial partners have an opportunity to participate in our commercial success," explained Messina.

The Basic tier provides access to Docker platform, support and certification. The Standard tier adds private container registries, Docker Datacenter (integrated container app management, multi-tenancy), secrets management, and support for image signing policies. The Advanced tier introduces container image security scanning.

Rounding out the options, plain old Docker has received some letters, too. The original open source version of the software has become Docker CE, for Community Edition, now that Windows CE has faded from memory.

Available from the Docker Store for Mac and Windows; AWS and Azure; CentOS, Debian, Fedora, and Ubuntu – Docker CE costs nothing but irreplaceable time.

Docker the company has committed to releasing Docker the software on a monthly cadence for the freeloading developer community, though quarterly releases are also an option for those who embrace the caution of operations personnel. Enterprise customers can avail themselves of supported quarterly releases with backports and hotfixes for up to a year.

In conjunction with its bid for enterprise business, Docker is debuting a certification program, which aims to provide customers with infrastructure, container technology, and plugin technology that works with Docker as expected.

Patrick Chanezon, a member of Docker's technical staff, said the certification program is one of the most important aspects of Docker EE because it assures businesses that the software and services in the Docker ecosystem will be supported.

Docker EE can be had as a free trial, as a purchase from Docker's sales department, as a Docker Store purchase, and through partners. ®

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