fred lifton

Dockercon Day 1: Keynote Highlights

fred lifton

The first day of Dockercon started early, with sleepy attendees and manic marketing people milling about a big breakfast spread of fruit, pastry, an oatmeal bar and, because this is San Francisco after all, breakfast burritos. Coffee flows copiously and the room starts to fill, slowly at first and then with a rush of people crowding the registration tables. As the coffee flows faster, the chatter picks up and ideas start flowing too. I hear three new ideas for Docker projects and it’s not even 8 a.m. yet. These people are excited!

The chatter fills the air with lots of languages: English, French, Australian, Ruby, Go, Python. By 8:30 it’s as crowded as a New York subway at rush hour. A clump of Docker employees worry that CTO Solomon Hykes is late. Apparently he was coding (or possibly tweeting) until 4 a.m. But there’s no time to worry about that. Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” starts blasting from the adjacent ballroom, pulling in the attendees (why are conference rooms always called ballrooms? I’ve never seen a dance take place in one.) It’s Keynote time!


While the room fills, Docker CEO Ben Golub paces, lonely, in a corner, running through his presentation. The lights dim, the Docker logo comes up on the two big screens flanking the stage and, much to the relief of Docker’s marketing team, Solomon materializes and takes the stage. He is clearly moved by the size and scope of the room full of Dockerites in front of him, and he gives a sincere thank you to all the contributors and developers who have done so much to bring Docker to this point. Then he introduces Ben, who bounds on stage. Ben too seems amazed at the size of the event: over 500 attendees, 400 on the waiting list, 150 talks submitted.

Ben moves on to talk about the size of the Docker community and the work that’s been done to date. There are now over 460 regular contributors to the Open Source project, 14,000 Dockerized applications and 7,000 Docker-related projects on GitHub. And, let’s not forget the 42 regular, full-time Docker employees (two weeks ago there were 35). Ben moves on to thank everyone in the partner ecosystem, which provides a seque to introduce Michael Bryzek of Gilt.


Michael takes the stage and talks about how Gilt uses Docker to stay agile and productive. He points out that once they got to know what Docker does, they used it to eliminate entire sets of problems, like packaging and deployment, from their developers’ to-do lists.

Next, Ben retakes the stage. Big announcements are coming, he hints, but he lets the excitement build as he quickly runs through the now familiar container ship analogy that explains how Docker works and why it’s so useful. Docker, he explains, is an open platform to build, ship, and run distributed applications quickly and securely. And with that preamble, it’s on to the big news!

First and foremost is the hot-off-the-presses release of Version 1.0 of the Docker Engine. This is the first stable, production-ready version of Docker. It supports all major Linux platforms plus, with the Boot2Docker utility, OSX and Windows. Docker’s engineering staff is giddy about this release, and not just because of sleep deprivation.

Next up, Ben announces the availability of Docker Hub, a new service that provides a wide range of services for distributed applications, including container image distribution and change management, user and team collaboration, lifecycle workflow automation, and third-party services integration.

The next big news is the Official Repo program, a curated set of Docker images, with guaranteed sources and quality. Initially, the program will include the top 13 most-searched-for applications in Docker Hub – including CentOS, MongoDB, MySQL, Nginx, Redis, Ubuntu, and WordPress.


Last, but not least, is the roll-out of new enterprise services: training, consulting, and support. Ben points out that all of these services are intended to ease adoption of Docker in commercial environments and provide enterprises with peace of mind and confidence when adopting Docker in their infrastructures.


And now, it’s on to the always exciting demo portion of the talk. Docker’s SVP of Product, Scott Johnston, bravely takes the stage with Docker’s Director of Engineering, Sam Alba. Following a successful sacrifice to the demo gods, Scott and Sam ably show off the new hub and then demonstrate how Docker can rapidly deploy and run an app after it’s been modified. After a few tense seconds, *boom* the revised application is up and running on four different cloud providers, with the changes clearly visible. It’s “build, ship, and run” right before your very eyes!


It’s a tough act to follow, but Ben rolls on to discuss the partner ecosystem by bringing on representatives of a couple of key partners. First up is Rackspace‘s CTO John Engate. John explains how Rackspace uses Docker for dev and ops. Their devs love it since it helps them work faster and more cleanly. The ops staff love it for its agility and and ease of collaboration. Next up is Red Hat EVP/CTO Brian Stevens. Brian explains how Docker allowed Red Hat developers get their work done without the overhead of managing VM’s. At Red Hat, Docker comes at the end of a long path to getting a simple set of tools that lets the devs dev without worrying about packaging and deployment.

And with that, Dockercon 2014 is underway! But first, more coffee… and I’ve heard that a whale is waiting for us outside…



5 thoughts on “Dockercon Day 1: Keynote Highlights

  1. Can we view the keynote online yet? Or will it be posted later?

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