Docker: Making the Internet Programmable


Docker, and containers in general, are hot technologies that have been getting quite a bit of attention over the past few years. Even Solomon Hykes, Founder, CTO, and Chief Product Officer at Docker started his keynote with the assumption that people attending LinuxCon Europe know that Docker does containers, so instead of focusing on what Docker does, Hykes used his time to talk about Docker’s purpose saying, “It really boils down to one small sentence. We’re trying to make the Internet programmable.”

Hykes described this idea of making the Internet programmable with three key points. First, they are focused on building “tools of mass innovation” designed to allow people to create and innovate on a very large scale. Second, applications and cloud services are allowing the idea of the Internet as a programmable platform to be realized, and they want to make this accessible to more people. Third, they are accomplishing all of this by building the Docker stack with open standards, open infrastructure, and a development platform with commercial products on top of the stack.

Docker is still a relatively small company at only 250 people, and as a small company with a big goal, Hykes credits open source with allowing them to achieve so much with few people. He even goes as far as saying that “Docker would not be possible without open source full stop. That’s because there’s not enough of us to solve all the technical problems we need to solve to make the Internet programmable.” Hykes says that they process 1200 patches per week, which feels a bit like drinking from a fire hose. While he says that this volume isn’t quite at the Linux scale, he says, “it’s closer to Linux than 99% of projects out there,” so they have been borrowing heavily from the various processes that have allowed Linux development to scale.

Although Hykes demonstrated the beta releases of Docker for Mac and Docker for AWS, the big news from this keynote was the introduction of InfraKit, which he described as “a tool kit to create and manage infrastructure that’s scalable, self-healing, declarative, and it embeds years and years of experience operating real systems at really large scale.” InfraKit originated from the March acquisition of Conductant, the team behind the Aurora Project. But, he cautions the audience, “Don’t check it out quite yet because it’s not open source right now. We actually thought since we’re at an open source conference, we could open source something live on stage.” Luckily, the demo gods were smiling on him, and Hykes was able to successfully open the repository for InfraKit live on stage before the end of his keynote.

Watch the complete keynote below to see the Docker for Mac / Docker for AWS demos and to learn more about Docker and open source.

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