ARCHITECHT Daily: The container consolidation begins

A note to start: Rather than simply putting together a regular newsletter (with summarized headlines
ARCHITECHT
ARCHITECHT Daily: The container consolidation begins
By ARCHITECHT • Issue #57 • View online
A note to start: Rather than simply putting together a regular newsletter (with summarized headlines and short analysis of each link), my first issue back from vacation is longer than usual; uses the original headlines; and contains no commentary on the links. This is because as I was catching up on what I missed—a time-consuming process—I felt obliged to link to a lot of the stories, blog posts and research papers. Tomorrow will be a normal issue.
One of the news items that compelled me to go back further than yesterday for links was Microsoft acquiring the Deis team and technology from Engine Yard last Monday. It was almost certainly a small deal, and Deis isn’t a huge player in containers, but the move does further Microsoft’s mission to become a (or the) major player in containers broadly, and Kubernetes specifically. 
An ARCHITECHT Daily reader suggested to me (after the email version of this issue went out) that the Deis technology stack—Workflow, Helm and Steward—provides a PaaS layer for Kubernetes, similar to what Red Hat has with OpenShift or what Pivotal has with Cloud Foundry (minus the Kubernetes part). That could provide a nice channel for Microsoft to go after larger customers that want Kubernetes with a greater degree of abstraction.
For more background on the Microsoft-Deis deal, check out this take from Pivotal’s Michael Coté. For more background on Microsoft’s view on containers, check out my ARCHITECHT Show interview with Kubernetes creator and now-Microsoft engineer Brendan Burns.
Not to be outdone, yesterday brought news that Oracle is acquiring container-centric CI/CD startup Wercker. It makes a lot of sense that Oracle would want a technology (or team) to help its cloud customers build better applications and utilize Docker containers, but Wercker is quite small—especially by Oracle standards—and Wercker has traditionally put a lot of effort behind Kubernetes support. I’ll be curious to see what Oracle ends up doing with Wercker’s technology (integrate it, keep selling it, or kill it) and how deeply Oracle embraces Kubernetes as the management layer.
Both of these acquisitions point to what I predict will be a wave of container-market acquisitions as large tech vendors seek to carve out their piece of that pie. There are lots of startups around right now (I list some of them in this analysis of the container market) that could provide valuable pieces of the container puzzle to companies like IBM, HPE or Oracle, or at least provide them with valuable engineers to build out their own container visions. 
Recently, I heard the latest iteration of the Microsoft-has-acquired-Docker rumor—a move that I’ll only believe when I see it, but that wouldn’t be surprising at all. Docker adoption is growing like mad—just check out this latest report from DataDog, citing 40 percent growth since last year along with lots of other solid insights—and owning a fundamental piece of the container/microservices stack would be a big deal for any company, including Microsoft.
And, as I’ve said before, the container market, like so many other newly emerged tech markets, can be tricky to navigate because of its open source center of gravity. You’d like to think there will be a handful of container-native companies that ride the wave and eventually come out as the next-generation of software giants, but there’s no requirement that must happen. Containers will continue their march toward ubiquity either way.

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ARCHITECHT delivers the most interesting news and information about the business impacts of cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and other trends reshaping enterprise IT. Curated by Derrick Harris.

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