Tech War or Diplomacy?

Yesterday, I published an article asking, “Did Docker Declare War on RedHat and CoreOS?

I received several responses pointing out market-related developments.

  1. A number of people said they know that Docker did not intend to “declare war” on CoreOS and RedHat. Docker simply was developing its tools that they needed anyways and advanced their market.
  2. With the change in CEOs this week at Docker, highly unlikely they would start a war immediately before changing.
  3. Docker EE (commercial) is the only version available on RedHat Enterprise Linux (commercial) because “Docker-free for OS-free” and “Docker-commercial for OS-commercial”.
  4. CoreOS (the business) no longer is focused as a business model on CoreOS (the OS); their primary commercial focus is Tectonic.
  5. CoreOS (the OS) no longer is called CoreOS, but rather “Container Linux”. This renaming move is intended to separate the business from the OS, and enable their brand to be affiliated with other core (pun intended) business opportunities.

That having been said, I have found CoreOS to be very popular among new companies and new cloud deployments in companies. The philosophy of minimal OS with all variability in containers is very appealing. Personally, I recommend it in many cases. It reduces the burden of managing the underlying operating system significantly.

I hope it does stay around – I know they are investing in it, particularly on the security front – even in the face of challenges from LinuxKit. Custom distro images aren’t for everyone, but with greater simplicity may come greater adoption. Further, if engineers can build app container images, there is no reason they cannot, eventually, build app os images, eliminating a whole layer of management. That, after all, is what Docker really is all about.

About Avi Deitcher

Avi Deitcher is a technology business consultant who lives to dramatically improve fast-moving and fast-growing companies. He writes regularly on this blog, and can be reached via Facebook, Twitter and avi@atomicinc.com.
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