Our team just spent the last 4 days in San Francisco attending the Dockercon conference and participating in the Hackathon. We decided to send the entire Rancher Labs engineering team to the conference. I’m so glad we did. There was big news and great new Docker capabilities. It gave us a chance to meet so many Rancher friends and users at one time. First there’s the city, the venue, the party, and the food. The foodies on our team were raving about the quality of lunch and snacks, which was a pleasant departure from the usual conference food. Kudos to the organizers for their attention to detail. You rock. You understood food for developers, and took great care of our vegetarian and gluten-free team members! The Hackathon was a highlight of the show for us. As the sponsor, we got to interact with hundreds of passionate developers. I was amazed by their background--from college interns to seasoned programmers, all eager to code. It’s great to be among peers who code for the joy of coding. Our team had a blast, and really enjoyed the 24-hours of coding and camaraderie. The first day keynote really set the tone for the entire conference. When Ben Golub established the theme of the conference as putting “Docker in production,” I was thrilled. This has been our driving vision since we started Rancher, and it is fantastic to see how much work is going into making it possible. A great example of this theme was the work Docker is doing to make infrastructure a first class capability in Docker. Solomon Hykes elevated nitty-gritty technical details to a set of key principles, which we fully agreed in. My favorite was was when he said “the network should be part of the application, not the other way around.” At Rancher we have intuitively felt that the type of infrastructure we build is different from the traditional idea of software-defined infrastructure. Solomon’s statement captured the essence of what we often call “application-defined infrastructure,” but when he talked about it as “plumbing” for application development, I think he made it much simpler to understand. We are super-excited about Docker’s new plug-in framework. We’ve been monitoring and contributing to the design of the plug-in framework closely. We are happy to see it coming to fruition at Dockercon. Rancher Labs is a Docker plumbing company, and therefore we will be utilizing and pushing the envelope of the plug-in framework right away. It was obvious from the start of the conference, the Docker ecosystem is stronger than ever. Every major industry leader and startup company seemed to be represented. Since containers represent a new way to consume cloud resources, I was excited to see the three major cloud providers, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure, all had a strong presence at the show. There was a strong sense that the space would be big enough to create opportunities for everyone. All conference have rules like “be nice” or “no harassment policy.” I must say, however, I have never been to a conference where fellow attendee are more fun, more open, and more helpful. I met a developer from South Africa who will embark on a cross-country motorcycle ride after Dockercon. One of our engineers, Sheng Yang, was thrilled to get to know and have his problems solved on the fly by Docker maintainer Vincent Batts. Our engineers all told me it was well worth their time to spend two days at Dockercon, talking, listening and hacking. . While the first day keynote was exciting, the second day keynote and enterprise customer sessions were the reason companies like ours are so excited about the market developing around Docker. An amazing line-up of Docker users shared stories about deploying Docker. Cool new products were developed. Speakers like Simon Eskildsen from Shopify and Brian Scott and Patrick O’Connor from Disney shared great insights on how larger organizations are using containers. The Windows container demo was impressive, as was the demo of container migration. I particularly loved the Project Orca demo. Project Orca shows Docker is committed to tying together Docker native container orchestration technologies like Compose, Swarm, and Machine to form a rich experience for running containers in production. At Rancher Labs, we’ve had to build our own Docker compose-based orchestration front-end just to be able to drive workload into our infrastructure plumbing. Rancher users love the fact that our own front-end mimics Docker compose but they would certainly prefer working with the real Docker compose and Docker Swarm. I have no doubt that, once Project Orca is developed and widely adopted, the demand for the type of back-end infrastructure built by Rancher will grow significantly. Docker and its ecosystem partners have made so much progress in the last 6 months. I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months will bring. Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth, the amount of interest and excitement about Rancher and RancherOS was more than we had hoped for. We can’t wait to see everyone again at Dockercon Europe. If you’d like more information on Rancher, please register for our beta program, or contact us and we’d be happy to walk you through the work we’re doing.
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