DockerCon EU Impressions

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I just came back from DockerCon EU. I have not met a more friendly and
helpful group of people than the users, vendors, and Docker employees at
DockerCon. It was a well-organized event and a fun
experience.

I went into the event with some
questions[
about where Docker was headed. Solomon Hykes addressed these questions
in his keynote, which was the highlight of the entire show. Docker
embracing Kubernetes is clearly the single biggest piece of news coming
out of DockerCon.

If there’s one thing
Docker wanted the attendees to take away, it was the Modernize
Traditional Applications (MTA) program. The idea of MTA is simple:
package a traditional Windows or Linux app as a Docker container then
deploy the app on modern cloud infrastructure and achieve some savings.
By dedicating half of the day one keynote and the entire day two keynote
to this topic, Docker seems to have bet its entire business on this
single value proposition.

I am surprised, however, that MTA became the sole business case focus at DockerCon. The
DockerCon attendees I talked to expected Docker to outline a more
complete vision of business opportunities for Docker. MTA did not appeal
to majority of DockerCon attendees. Even enterprise customers I met had
much bigger plans than MTA. I wish Docker had spent some time
reinforcing the value containers can deliver in transforming application
development, which is a much bigger business
opportunity.

MTA builds on the most basic capabilities of Docker as an application packaging format, a practice
that has existed since the very beginning of Docker. But what specific
features of Docker EE makes MTA work better than before? Why is Docker
as a company uniquely positioned to offer a solution for MTA? What other
tools will customers need to complete the MTA journey? The MTA keynotes
left these and many other questions unanswered.

Beyond supporting Kubernetes, Docker made
no announcements that made Swarm more likely to stay relevant. As an
ecosystem partner, I find it increasingly difficult to innovate based on
Docker’s suite of technologies. I miss the days when Docker announced
great innovations like Docker Machine, Docker Swarm, Docker Compose,
Docker network and volume plugins, and all kinds of security-related
innovations. We all used to get busy working on these technologies the
very next day. There are still plenty of innovations in container
technologies today, but the innovations are happening in the Kubernetes
and CNCF ecosystem.

After integrating Kubernetes, I hope Docker can get back to producing more innovative
technologies. I have not seen many companies who possess as much
capacity to innovate and attention to usability as Docker. I look
forward to what Docker will announce at the next
DockerCon
.

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