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CloudControl to major chum: We'll gobble Docker's dotCloud

Did you know the Linux container upstart has, sorry, had a platform-as-a-service?

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Docker has sold off its dotCloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering so that it can concentrate on its much-buzzed-about eponymous Linux application container technology.

According to an announcement at the end of last week, the dotCloud PaaS will keep its name, but it will now be operated by German PaaS outfit cloudControl, which has been looking to expand its operations into the US.

Many Reg readers probably don't recall that the Docker technology – an alternative to virtualization that achieves similar results without the overhead of a hypervisor – began life as an internal open-source project at an early PaaS provider called dotCloud.

The company developed the software on top of a variety of other open-source packages with the assistance of Red Hat and other community contributors, and it became so popular so quickly that dotCloud eventually reincorporated as Docker in October 2013.

Shortly thereafter, Docker received a cash infusion of $15m from Silicon Valley investors betting that the lightweight tech will grab the ball away from traditional virtualization and run with it, particularly where it comes to cloudy application workloads.

Docker still offers cloud services today, but rather than marketing its PaaS, these days it's focused on allowing customers to host and share Docker application containers.

In fact, as Docker's Andrew Rothfusz explained on Monday, although the company has been keeping its PaaS cloud running, for the past few months "all new platform engineering effort" has been poured into the Docker technology, rather than dotCloud.

According to Rothfusz, although cloudControl plans to keep the dotCloud PaaS running in the short term, in the long term it intends to migrate dotCloud customers to its own, "next-generation" PaaS technology, which Rothfusz says already offers significant advantages over dotCloud's current offering.

The downside is that this will probably mean dotCloud customers will have to make some changes to their applications in order to keep them running on cloudControl's infrastructure.

The upside is that they will have some time before this is necessary. Rothfusz says cloudControl plans to have its PaaS production-ready in the US region by the first quarter of 2015, at which point dotCloud customers will be free to evaluate how it meets their needs.

If that goes according to plan, all existing dotCloud customers will be switched over to the cloudControl PaaS beginning in the second quarter. ®

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