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@DevOpsSummit Authors: Dana Gardner, Liz McMillan, Tim Hinds, Pat Romanski, Flint Brenton

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Open Source Docker Project Announces Open Governance Advisory Board

Recognizing both the rapid growth of Docker as a platform and the importance of open governance, Docker, Inc., the commercial entity behind the open source Docker project, today announced the creation of an Open Governance Advisory Board as a next step towards a full open governance model. In line with Docker’s “radical openness” philosophy, membership on the advisory board will be open to individuals, corporations and users alike, and will be determined transparently by code contribution and other objective factors. The Open Governance Advisory Board will provide input to the Docker project leadership on a broad range of topics, including the project roadmap, policies and procedures around contribution, core criteria for Docker-compliant products and the long term governance structure of the Docker project. No sponsorship or fee will be required to join the advisory board. Board membership criteria and selection, and all output from board meetings, will be made public.

Docker is an open source project to build, manage and deploy applications as lightweight containers. Containerization is becoming an essential solution for sysadmins and developers, as it provides a flexible way to build, scale and deploy applications, and reduces the time and expense of cloud infrastructure. In the thirteen months since launching, Docker has experienced explosive growth and adoption, and has emerged as the de facto standard for containerization.

“Docker has pursued a ‘radically open’ approach to the project since the outset and we believe this has been key to adoption and growth,” said Solomon Hykes, the CTO and chief maintainer of Docker. “We deliberately chose the most permissive license (Apache), pursued an open design approach and welcomed the broad community as both contributors and maintainers. In fact, over 95% of contributors don’t work for Docker, Inc. Creating the Governance Advisory Board is the next logical step.”

The full Open Governance Advisory Board draft proposal is posted for comments at The board is intended to supplement—and not replace—existing mechanisms for public participation. Docker will be soliciting comments and nominations through the end of May and will be announcing the full membership of the board at DockerCon in June. In addition to seats for the top three maintainers, board seats will be allocated (four each) as follows:

  • Individual seats: allocated to the top non-Docker, Inc., contributors based on a public formula;
  • User seats: allocated based on community voting, with nominations based on published use cases; and
  • Corporate seats: allocated based on community voting, with nominations limited to organizations that are both top contributors/maintainers and that have committed to integrate Docker into products in a manner consistent with open source principles.

“It is very exciting to see Docker being proactive around issues of governance,” said Paul Burns, president of analyst firm Neovise. “Given the project’s considerable and growing importance, it is critical that Docker is taking steps now to establish the best governance framework. By gathering input from individuals, users and companies that are making long term investments in the platform, Docker is becoming one of the most open and inclusive projects in the industry.”

“It's good to see the value that Docker places on the great community that they've built,” said Andrew Page ("tianon" to those on the Docker IRC channel and GitHub), one of the top contributors to the Docker project. “Membership in this board being based on open contributions rather than on financial sponsorship will be critical to the reception of the guidance it will provide.”

“We have made a significant investment in Docker as the backbone of our development environment and continuous deployment infrastructure,” said Scott Bessler, software engineer at RelateIQ. “We have great confidence in the technology, community and team. The fact that users like us are being brought on as a core part of the governance advisory board bolsters this confidence further.”

Supporting Quotes:

“Docker’s pledge to open governance and the formation of an advisory board reinforces the industry’s commitment for an open community and the continued growth of an open cloud,” said Angel Daiz, VP of open technologies and cloud performance solutions at IBM. “We at IBM look forward to the continued success of Docker and this model.”

"We believe that Docker will be vital to the future of how we do computing,” said Van Lindberg, VP of technology, office of the CTO, at Rackspace. “Bringing in other members of the community as part of a governance advisory board just cements Docker's importance as a multi-platform, multi-vendor standard for how we package and deploy applications. We are excited to be on the board and look forward to supporting the use of Docker both at Rackspace and on any OpenStack cloud."

“Open governance is critical to building trust and acceptance of new, open source technologies,” said Brian Stevens, executive vice president and CTO of Red Hat. “As a leader in open source, and as a company that has made significant commitments to integrating Docker and containers in our products, we welcome this move. We look forward to working with the broader community to help craft both the Governance Advisory Board structure and the long term governance principles for Docker.”

“Docker itself would not have been possible without both the contributions from our own community and a long chain of other open source contributions, such as cgroups, Go, namespaces, SELinux and the Linux Kernel,” said Ben Golub, CEO of Docker. “Many of these open source technologies were contributed by the companies and individuals supporting this advisory board. We hope that the creation of the Governance Advisory Board helps perpetuate the virtuous cycle of contribution and collaboration from individuals and companies alike.”

Supporting Resources

About Docker, Inc.

Docker, Inc. is the commercial entity behind the open source Docker project, and is the chief sponsor of the Docker ecosystem. Docker is an open source engine for deploying any application as a lightweight, portable, self-sufficient container that will run virtually anywhere. By delivering on the twin promises “Build Once…Run Anywhere” and “Configure Once…Run Anything,” Docker has seen explosive growth, and its impact is being seen across DevOps, PaaS and hybrid cloud environments. One year after launching, the Docker community is expanding rapidly: Docker containers have been downloaded over one million times, the project has received more than 10,000 Github stars, and is receiving contributions from more than 400 community developers. Over 11,000 “Dockerized” applications are now available at the Docker public index, and there are Docker meetup groups in 32 countries around the world. Docker, Inc. offers both commercial Docker services and PaaS offerings at the website.

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

Red Hat is a trademark of Red Hat, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

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