Data Centers

Why your company should consider shelling out for the new Docker Enterprise Edition

Docker has always been free, but recently the company rolled out a new enterprise edition of its container technology. Here's why large companies should consider adding it to the IT budget.

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Image: Jack Wallen

It's almost impossible to avoid hearing about Docker these days. With good reason. Docker is one of the easiest and most reliable ways to deploy containers on the market. Docker has done a remarkable job of making a very complicated bit of technology, remarkably user-friendly. And since inception, Docker was available for free. That's right, you could install Docker on existing Linux machines (and even Window and Mac, via the Docker Toolbox) without cost and begin to deploy containers on your network.

And the IT world rejoiced.

See: How to install and use Docker on Windows

But what does that do for a company trying to keep the lights on? Not much; which is precisely why Docker has finally created Docker Enterprise Edition. DEE is a commercial platform for enterprise development such that IT teams can build and deploy business-critical containers at scale. DEE is perfectly aimed at competing with Kubernetes—which has done a masterful job at ruling enterprise-level container rollouts.

What is Docker Enterprise Edition?

At its core, DEE consists of three categories that exist as a part of the Docker Certification program:

  • Certified Infrastructure that provides an integrated environment for enterprise. The current list of certified infrastructure includes: AWS, Azure, CentOS, Oracle Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE, Ubuntu, and Windows Server 2016.
  • Certified Containers are provided by Independent Software Vendors (ISV) and are built and tested with Docker recommended best practices. Every certified container is scanned for vulnerabilities and are reviewed before they make it to the Docker Store.
  • Certified Plugin consists of Networking and Volume plugins available to end users as containers. Like certified containers, these plugins are built and tested with Docker recommended best practices and are scanned for vulnerabilities before released.

The key here is "certified". Docker's intent is to create a product designed to not only work seamlessly across any supported platform (Linux, Windows, AWS, Azure, etc.) and greatly simplify at-scale container management, but to create a landscape of products that can be fully trusted, out of the box, by enterprise businesses. This is a major shift from the standard, community edition of Docker—where anyone can upload an image to Docker Hub.

DEE tiers

There are three tiers of DEE available:

  • Basic: Docker for certified infrastructure, with support by Docker, Inc. This tier includes Certified Containers and Plugins from the Docker Store.
  • Standard: Adds secure multi-tenancy with the advanced image/container management, LDAP/AD user integration, secure software supply chain.
  • Advanced: Adds Docker Security Scanning and continuous vulnerability monitoring.

For more information on features and pricing, check out the pricing matrix here. The gist of the pricing goes like this:

  • Basic $1,500 per node/year for Business Critical support
  • Standard $3,000 per node/year for Business Critical support
  • Advanced $3,500 per node/year for Business Critical support

You can give Docker Enterprise Edition a try with their free trial. To do so, register for the trial to gain access to a DEE demo.

Who should use DEE

If you're an enterprise company, who's found the community edition of Docker either not robust or secure enough, Docker Enterprise Edition might be for you. If you've yet to try Docker, I highly recommend starting out with the community edition and then, if Docker containers are right for you, giving the DEE demo a spin. Chances are, you and your company will find this new product ideal for enterprise-level container deployment and management.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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