Docker, Boasting 'Amazing Traction,' Tops $150M in Funding

by Sean Michael Kerner

Docker's CEO explains why the open-source Docker container technology is taking off, and why he's raising more money.

Docker Inc., the lead commercial sponsor behind the open-source Docker container application virtualization technology, today announced that it has raised $95 million in a Series D round of funding, bringing total funding for the company to $150 million.

The new round of funding, led by Insight Venture Partners and including the participation of Coatue, Goldman Sachs, Northern Trust, Benchmark, Greylock Partners, Sequoia Capital, Trinity Ventures and Jerry Yang's AME Cloud Ventures, builds on Docker's $40 million Series C round of funding that was announced in September 2014 and a $15 million Series B round announced in January 2014. Docker is a 2-year-old technology that enables application virtualization using a container model.

As to why Docker is now raising new money, Docker CEO Ben Golub said that his company doesn't really the need the money for current operations as he's still spending the money from the Series B round. "What we're seeing is amazing traction and growth, and we're seeing huge uptake in the enterprise, so we wanted to make sure we had plenty of powder at the ready to go after this great opportunity," Golub told eWEEK.

Of particular note in the new funding round is the participation of Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs, as well as other large financial institutions, has been experimenting with Docker and sees great potential for its use, Golub said. He added that Goldman Sachs has also been evangelizing the use of Docker throughout the financial services community.

From an overall business perspective, Golub said there has been tremendous adoption and enterprise use of Docker since the Series C round was announced, with more growth likely as new products become generally available. In December 2014, Docker first announced the beta of Docker Hub Enterprise, an on-premises private version of the Docker Hub repository, which is a cloud-based service for Docker apps.

On the first day the Docker Hub Enterprise beta was announced, there were more than 100 enterprises asking to participate in the beta program, according to Golub.

"Docker Hub Enterprise will become generally available this quarter," he said. "On the other hand, our fully hosted Docker Hub service has been fully available for several months, and we're closing in on 10,000 different organizations and workgroups that have set up Docker Hub for their workflows."

Docker is also growing by way of partnerships and support by organizations including Amazon, Microsoft and IBM. Golub said that Docker also has multiple system integrator relationships.

"Our partners are bringing Docker into some of the most sophisticated enterprises, and they're bringing in Docker in the context of data center transformation engagement and hybrid cloud deployments," he said.

As for competitors, Golub doesn't see a traditional virtual machine (VM) as offered by vendors such as VMware as being a threat to Docker, but is rather just another deployment option.

"We're seeing a lot of adoption in enterprises where Docker is deployed onto virtual machines, rather than just directly onto bare metal," he said.

Golub explained that some companies will choose to run Docker on top of a VM if the company is in a highly regulated environment, where the use of a VM provides an additional layer of security and audit capabilities. He added that some organizations will also use Docker with VMs if they need to do Live Migration—a feature that enables a running virtualization service to move from one location to another but which is not yet supported in Docker.

"For us, it's all great. We're happy to run on bare metal, we're happy to run in VMs, we're happy to run in the cloud," Golub said. "For us, it's not about being proscriptive about infrastructure. It's about giving enterprise the freedom to choose the infrastructure that is right for them."

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

Originally published on eWeek.
This article was originally published on Tuesday Apr 14th 2015
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