Docker Acquires SocketPlane to Drive an Open Collaborative Networking Ecosystem

SDN startup team to lead Docker’s open source networking API

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Docker, Inc., the corporate sponsor of the open platform for distributed applications, today announced the acquisition of software-defined networking (SDN) startup SocketPlane. SocketPlane, which was founded in Q4, 2014 with a vision of delivering Docker-native networking, has been an active participant in shaping the initial efforts around Docker’s open API for networking. The explicit focus of the SocketPlane team within Docker will be on collaborating with the partner community to complete a rich set of networking APIs that addresses the needs of application developers and network and system administrators alike.

The powerful combination of Docker bringing networking directly to the application and being completely infrastructure independent provides for a model where competing vendors can work from one standard, while optimizing their own technologies for differentiation. For developers, they are assured complete application portability at every step of the application lifecycle with the knowledge that their composable services will communicate uniformly anywhere.

“Networking is a critical part of the stack for distributed applications and has become an increasing area of focus within the Docker partner ecosystem due to the rapid growth in multi-container, multi-host applications,” said Solomon Hykes, chief architect of the Docker Project and founder and CTO of Docker, Inc. “To sustain the velocity of community advancements in open, modular and secure Docker networking, we felt we needed to support those efforts with a dedicated team. Given the SocketPlane team’s collective experience with virtually every open source SDN effort, we felt they were the right people to carry forward our ‘batteries included, but swappable’ approach to drive a thriving networking ecosystem.”

Docker brings networking to the application itself; all Docker containers can interact in concert as a distributed application securely over an IP infrastructure free from costly approaches like dedicated and proprietary application communication buses. SDN efforts for Docker provide infrastructure freedom of choice where admins can select which networking “batteries” are right for an application specific use case. In this manner, all aspects of networking can be software-defined with complete portability that ensures that a distributed application is not bound to a specific vendor or cloud provider.

“We started SocketPlane with a goal of creating the best networking solution in the Docker ecosystem,” said Madhu Venugopal, CEO of SocketPlane. “We’re now excited to be broadening that vision to support and empower the partner ecosystem to create the best solutions possible for users. Given the myriad of networking use cases enabled by Docker, we believe strongly that we will be fostering broad opportunities for partners to build differentiated capabilities based upon Docker’s open standards.”

Venugopal and the SocketPlane team of six are, as of today, employees of Docker, Inc. and working out of Docker headquarters in San Francisco. The team is comprised of networking veterans with a track record of success at Cisco, Red Hat, HP and Dell. Members of the SocketPlane team have previously provided leadership in working on open standards for SDN including involvement with OpenStack, OpenDaylight, Open vSwitch as well as Open Virtual Network (OVN) of which Venugopal is a co-author. More recently, the team has been actively involved in the open design sprints around Docker networking that led to initial Docker networking API efforts. Venugopal and his team will lead these efforts on a go forward basis.

To track and comment on the team’s efforts follow:

Supporting Quotes:

“Enhancing Docker’s open API for networking, in a manner that fosters a robust partner ecosystem, is necessary to facilitate broader and accelerated adoption of Docker,” said Bill Fine, vice president of product, Joyent. “The acquisition of SocketPlane shows that the Docker team is serious about doing just that. We are delighted to see Docker add SocketPlane's networking expertise to their team, and we believe that it will help accelerate a productive, community-wide collaboration on this important issue.”

“Cross-host networking is an important requirement for Docker, and is fundamental to the vision for distributed applications,” said Sheng Liang, CEO, Rancher Labs. “We’ve worked closely with Docker and SocketPlane on integrating with RancherOS and Rancher to build a platform for running Docker at scale in production, and are excited to continue this collaboration moving forward.”

“Our customers, including those in production, ask for APIs to extend Docker and Weave,” said Alexis Richardson, CEO of Weaveworks. “We have all been working to address this, starting with enabling networking extensions. Delivering a network API is now a resourced priority for Docker. Networking is just the beginning – Weaveworks looks forward to uniting with Docker and the ecosystem, to define, ship and support these APIs.”

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About Docker, Inc.

Docker, Inc. is the company behind the Docker open source platform, and is the chief sponsor of the Docker ecosystem. Docker is an open platform for developers and system administrators to build, ship, run and orchestrate distributed applications. With Docker, IT organizations shrink application delivery from months to minutes, frictionlessly move workloads between data centers and the cloud, and improve infrastructure efficiency by 50 percent or more. Inspired by an active community and by transparent, open source innovation, Docker has been downloaded 200+ million times and is used by thousands of the world’s most innovative organizations, including eBay, Baidu, Yelp, Spotify, Yandex, and Cambridge HealthCare. Docker’s rapid adoption has catalyzed an active ecosystem, resulting in more than 95,000 Dockerized applications and integration partnerships with AWS, Cloud Foundry, Google, IBM, Microsoft, OpenStack, Rackspace, Red Hat and VMware.

Docker, Inc. is venture backed by AME Cloud Ventures (Yahoo! Founder Jerry Yang), Benchmark (Peter Fenton), Greylock Partners (Jerry Chen), Insight Venture Partners (Jerry Murdock), Sequoia Capital (Bill Coughran), SV Angel (Ron Conway), Trinity Ventures (Dan Scholnick), Y Combinator.


Mindshare PR
Heather Fitzsimmons, 650-800-7160


Mindshare PR
Heather Fitzsimmons, 650-800-7160