In an expected move Mirantis today announced that it’s acquiring the enterprise business unit of Docker, one of the most lucrative pieces of Docker Inc. While Docker technologies have been pivotal to the digital transformation of companies and also disrupted the IT industry, as a company it didn’t enjoy the same success.
As part of Mirantis Docker’s enterprise offering will get the leadership and marketing muscles that it needed from its early days. Mirantis itself started as a pure-play OpenStack company but swiftly evolved as the market evolved. It embraced emerging technologies, reinventing itself as its customers moved into the cloud-native world.
Docker is not the first company that Mirantis has acquired. Mirantis has both organic and inorganic growth strategy. Organic growth could be slow, so Mirantis resorts to acquiring players that bring it to speed.
As Mirantis is evolving into a service company, Docker’s Enterprise business fits perfectly into Mirantis’ strategy. “We see Kubernetes as the technology platform that’s going to enable enterprises to build and deploy apps anywhere they want – from the public cloud, private cloud to hybrid and edge,” said Adrian Ionel, CEO, and co-founder at Mirantis.
This has been the number one development direction for Mirantis. Kubernetes has become a critical piece of Docker’s universal control plane. “Many of the Docker customers use it and love it and this is a tremendous accelerator for us towards the “as a service” vision for multi-cloud and hybrid use cases,” said Ionel.
Mirantis will also acquire MTA (Modernize Traditional Applications) platform that allows companies to containerize their legacy applications without any code change or refactoring in a matter of minutes. With MTA, Mirantis will be able to help companies fast-track their digital transformation journey by lowering the barrier for containerizing their apps and then help them leverage its Kubernetes as a Service offering.
Under Mirantis, Docker Enterprise will continue to retain its branding. Mirantis will acquire all Docker Enterprise customers and developers making it one of the most powerful cloud-native players.
At the Docker end, the company turns its focus on developer tools like Docker Desktop and Docker Hub. In a statement the Docker told me, “Specifically, we are investing in expanding our cloud services to enable developers to quickly discover technologies for use when building applications, to easily share these apps with teammates and the community, and to run apps frictionless on any Kubernetes endpoint, whether locally or in the cloud.”
What happens to Docker Open Source? Docker is also known for open-sourcing many of its core components. It’s essentially an open source company. Ionel reassured that nothing will change in terms of open source (Mirantis itself is an open source player). “Mirantis and Docker would collaborate upstream on core open source technologies that are relevant to the joint customer base,” he said.