Illustration: Lisa Hornung/TechRepublic

Your business depends on the ability to deploy applications quickly and at scale. For that, you might have your sights set on the container orchestration system, Kubernetes. But chances are pretty good you’ll start with (and even continue to use) Docker. Why? Because Docker is one of the easiest paths to begin that journey with containers.

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Docker is used by millions of developers around the world to build, run and share containerized applications. Currently, 55% of professional developers are using Docker at work, which, along with an accelerated increase in supply-chain attacks, has led to accelerated growth in the demand for trusted Docker content (including Docker Official Images and Docker Verified Publisher images).

Couple that with the rapid rise in global developers (to an estimated 45 million by 2030), and you have the makings for serious demand within the container space. To meet this level of demand, Docker has announced a few changes to its subscription plans.

First, Docker is introducing a new product subscription: Docker Business. This new plan is for organizations using Docker at scale for application development. This new plan will include features like secure software supply-chain management, single sign-on, container registry access controls and more.

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Another change is to the Docker Subscription Service Agreement, which includes important changes for Docker Desktop. This desktop application for container development and deployment will remain free for:

  • Small businesses with fewer than 250 employees and less than $10 million in annual revenue.
  • Personal use.
  • Educational institutions.
  • Non-commercial open-source projects.

For professional usage, Docker Desktop will require a paid subscription (either Pro, Team or Business), which starts at $5 per month and goes up from there. Although the effective date for these terms is Aug. 31, there will be a grace period until Jan. 31, 2022, for those who will require a paid subscription to continue using Docker Desktop.

Another change for Docker Desktop is that the Pro and Team subscriptions will now include commercial use of the tool.

Docker Personal

For those who are using Docker Desktop for personal use, the free subscription plan has been renamed Docker Personal. This plan focuses on open-source communities, individual developers, education and small businesses. This plan will allow free use of all Docker components such as the Docker CLI, Docker Compose, Docker Build/BuildKit, Docker Engine, Docker Desktop, Docker Hub and Docker Official Images.

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Docker Business

The Docker Business subscription will enable organization-wide management and security for deploying containers at scale. This plan makes it possible for container managers to effectively observe and manage every one of their Docker development environments and accelerate supply-chain initiatives.

The Docker Business plan includes everything found in Docker Pro and Docker Team and adds the ability to control what container images developers can access from Docker Hub. This will ensure teams are building secure applications from the start.

To add to this, soon the Docker Business plan will provide SAML SSO, to control what registries developers can access and the ability to remotely manage instances of Docker Desktop.

In general, the goal of Docker Business is:

  • Help businesses gain visibility and control over content.
  • Manage local resources and access to external services.
  • Better manage Docker development environments at scale.

The price of Docker Business is $21/user/month, billed annually.

It should be noted that there will be no changes made to Docker Engine or any upstream, open-source Docker or Moby project.

To learn more about Docker, check out these courses!

For more information, check out the Docker FAQ and Roadmap.

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