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2015 was a remarkable year for Docker, the hugely popular container technology. Here at Flexiant, we have long argued for the long-term importance of containers. So much so that, as recently announced, we have launched the Kubernetes Orchestration as a Service feature within Flexiant Concerto, making it simple to orchestrate clusters of Docker containers, which is where we believe the industry is headed. Let’s take a look at what Docker has achieved over the past year.

In March, they acquired software-defined networking (SDN) startup SocketPlane. The acquisition is helping to drive an open, collaborative networking ecosystem for Docker, working with partners to develop a comprehensive set of networking APIs. In the words of Solomon Hykes, founder and CTO of Docker: “Networking is a critical part of the stack for distributed applications…given the SocketPlane team’s collective experience with virtually every open source SDN effort, we felt they were the right people to carry forward our ‘batteries included, but swappable’ approach to drive a thriving networking ecosystem.”

March also saw them significantly enhance the user experience when running Docker on a Mac. They did this by acquiring Kitematic, whose GUI-based workflow automatically installs Docker on a Mac, letting developers quickly and easily build, ship and run the containers.

The following month, Docker secured a whopping $95m in Series D funding, building on the successful Series C funding raised the previous September. This is enabling deeper integration with go-to-market key partners such as Amazon, IBM and Microsoft. As Jeff Horing, co-founder of Insight Venture Partners who led the round, put it: “This financing is a strong vote of confidence in Docker management, and strengthens the company’s ability to fulfill the needs of the millions of developers who have made the commitment to utilizing its breakthrough products and services in their daily work”.

June saw yet another successful DockerCon in San Francisco, with over 2,100 attendees, 50 speakers and 70 sponsors at the event. There were several exciting announcements, including the Open Container Project, Docker Network, Docker Platform 1.7, Docker Trusted registry and the GA of the new Docker Hub Beta.

In September they announced an update to Docker Hub which accelerated application delivery by 600%, with UI response times nearly halved. They also announced growth of almost 4x in users, and 5x in applications, over the previous 12 months.

Finally, in October Docker announced the acquisition of Tutum, in order to integrate this with Docker Hub and as a result, provide a complete commercial solution for IT teams to collaboratively build, ship and run production-ready distributed applications. “Tutum has already been validated by our user community as the best way to achieve a seamless Docker user experience from the point of initial onboarding to running Dockerized applications in production,” said Ben Golub, Docker CEO. “Users and customers alike are excited by the intersection of these two companies and the combined tooling that will result from our close collaboration.”

In short, 2015 has seen Docker go from strength to strength, and at Flexiant we believe that 2016 will see even greater growth, with the resulting increased importance of being able to orchestrate clustered Docker containers. To get Kubernetes Orchestration as a Service, sign up here and enter promo code FLEXK8S for 10 free VMs. Once signed up, simply go to Settings -> Account and click to enable beta features.

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