Docker Brings Containers to China

A new partnership with Alibaba Cloud provides wide distribution potential for Docker technology.


Docker Inc. has set its sights on the East to help grow its container fortunes. On Oct. 13, Docker announced a wide-ranging partnership with Alibaba Cloud in a bid to help accelerate the use and deployment of Docker technologies in China.

Founded in 2009, Alibaba Cloud is the cloud division of Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group. It bills itself as China's largest cloud provider and the fourth largest web hosting provider globally. As part of new partnership with Docker Inc., Alibaba Cloud will now host a distribution of the Docker Hub.

Docker Hub is the central public repository of Docker images and first debuted alongside the Docker 1.0 release in June 2014. Since its debut, Docker Hub has played a critical role in the expansion and popularity of Docker container applications, and the partnership with Alibaba Cloud is expected to drive adoption even more.

"This is a local mirror of Docker Hub that will be managed by Docker, running on Alibaba Cloud, with the express focus of delivering faster image downloads and a more performant UI experience for Chinese developers," David Messina, senior vice president of marketing and community at Docker Inc., told eWEEK.

Docker Hub has long provided users with access to freely available and open-source container applications. Building on top of Docker Hub are Docker Inc.'s commercially supported products, including Docker Datacenter. Docker Datacenter first became generally available on Feb. 23, providing what Docker Inc. describes as a commercial platform that enables containers as a service. Docker Datacenter is a subscription-based platform comprising Universal Control Plane for management, Docker Trusted Registry for application images and the Commercially Support (CS) Docker Engine.

Docker Inc. has been busy this year inking partnerships for Docker Datacenter and Docker Engine. In June, the company announced a commercial partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) that bundles Docker Engine in all shipping HPE servers. In September, Docker Inc. announced a wide-ranging relationship with Microsoft that has Docker Engine running on Windows Server and Microsoft promoting the Docker Datacenter platform as the preferred platform for managing containers.

"The relationship with Alibaba Cloud is unique from Docker's other strategic partnerships in that it is expressly structured and explicitly focused on driving and accelerating the production adoption of Docker in an explicit geography, China, the second largest economy in the world," Messina said.

Messina added that where the relationship with Alibaba Cloud aligns with other Docker Inc. strategic partnerships is that Alibaba Cloud will resell the Commercially Supported (CS) Docker Engine and provide Level 1 and 2 technical support. In addition, Alibaba Cloud will resell Docker Datacenter to its enterprise customers looking for an on-premises solution for managing Dockerized applications across their enterprise and in Alibaba Cloud.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.