Docker Debuts Enterprise Edition to Advance Container Deployments

Docker rebrands its commercially supported version and launches a new release approach for its container engine technology.

docker enterprise edition container engine technology

Docker Inc. is now taking a new approach to how it packages, releases and supports its popular open-source container engine technologies. The Docker Commercially Supported (CS) edition is being rebranded and expanded under the Docker Enterprise Edition (EE) name, along with new certified plug-ins and the official launch of the Docker Store for certified container applications.

The core open-source Docker Engine is now being renamed as the Community Edition (CE) and will be updated on a monthly basis, with a new numbering system that will also carry over to the Docker EE release. Prior to today's renumbering, the most recent Docker release was version 1.13, which debuted on Jan. 19. Docker is now taking a year and month nomenclature approach to release naming. As such, the new release out on March 2 is now known as Docker 17.03.

The monthly CE release is known as an “Edge” release and will introduce the latest technologies. There is also a more stable CE release that is released every quarter, which will align with Docker EE releases. The plan is for each new Docker EE release to be supported with bug fixes and security updates for up to one year.

Patrick Chanezon, member of the technical staff at Docker Inc., explained to eWEEK that the Docker EE branding is an evolution and expansion of the Docker CS effort. The expansion is in the form of the certified plug-in and infrastructure ecosystem that Docker now enables. Docker EE is now a container platform that has been certified for CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Ubuntu, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), Oracle Linux, and Windows Server 2016. The Docker EE platform has also been certified for cloud providers including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

Going a step further, certified applications for either Docker CE or EE editions are now generally available via the Docker Store. The Docker Store was first announced as a beta effort in June 2016 as a way to provide a container application store. The Docker Store effort is different from Docker Hub, which provides a free online repository of container applications.

Docker Datacenter which is Docker Inc.'s flagship commercial platform, is also being aligned with the new Docker EE approach. Docker EE will be available in basic, standard and advanced editions, providing different levels of advanced functionality. The Docker EE standard edition bundles Docker Datacenter's role-based access control capabilities, while the advanced edition provides security scanning and continuous vulnerability monitoring.

In the enterprise software world, the use of the acronym “EE” is often thought of in relation to JavaEE, which provides a bundled stack of enterprise Java capabilities. Chanezon emphasized that Docker EE is very different from the JavaEE model in many respects. While JavaEE was an attempt to build a multistakeholder standard model for Java, Docker EE is driven by Docker Inc. as a way to provide enterprise certification and stability for production workloads.

"JavaEE was a set of specifications that lots of different vendors implemented that ultimately resulted in a fragmented market," Chanezon said. "Docker EE is a product from a single company."

David Messina, senior vice president of marketing and community at Docker, noted that the goal was to help provide clarity around supported technologies for enterprise and for community use.

"We wanted to make sure there was a clear understanding around solutions for enterprises and solutions for the community that help to grow Docker," Messina told eWEEK.

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.