Ever since it became obvious that Docker was onto something pretty special, there have been questions about how the company would parlay its rapidly increasing venture-backed valuation into monetization and, by extension, what that would mean for the significant ecosystem of third-party software vendors and service providers that Docker has built around its eponymously named movement.
Indeed, there have been times over the past years when Docker has made acquisitions of ecosystem players or introduced functionality as part of the platform that has been somewhat competitive to one or other members of its ecosystem. These moves had been met with a degree of concern and worry. Over time, however, the ecosystem has matured and has come to realize that Docker has no option but to extend its functional footprint, which it will do in a broadly open way. And while there will certainly be some casualties from the roster of ISVs around Docker, the approach of making its own technology “swappable” for third-party tools gives some of these players a bit of an out.