Docker Acquires Tutum, a Natural Fit

Docker announced today that it was purchasing Tutum, a cloud service focused on deploying and managing Docker containers in any environment, whether the cloud or on-premises. The company did not disclose the purchase price.

Docker has always emphasized building, shipping and running containers — those discrete programming building blocks sometimes called micro-services. With today’s purchase, the company is really completing that third piece — the running the containers part —  which it has mostly left to programmers to deal with on their own up until now.

That usually involved creating custom scripts to drive deployment and management of containers, which could take hours or even days to write. In some ways this step was defeating the the speed and agility containers are supposed to offer developers and operations teams, Scott Johnston, SVP of product at Docker explained.

With the Tutum purchase, Docker is able to deliver a more complete package of services for its customers, which is becoming increasingly important as the product matures.

“Enterprise IT markets want a product that works, so they can focus on building applications, not on maintaining custom scripts and rewriting them for every version change. Tutum takes that maintenance away,” he said.

Tutum is a cloud service, built from the ground up as a Docker tool. It gives visibility into containers, and enables a team to create, start, terminate or redeploy as needed. It also provides a dashboard view of all of the containers under your management.

Tutum was founded in October, 2013 when Docker was barely even a product yet, but its two founders, Borja Burgos and Fernando Mayo, saw the future in Docker containers before many people even knew what Docker was.

Burgos described Docker as the type of innovative technology you see once in a decade, and he and his partner decided to go for it, hitching their wagons and immediate future to Docker. It’s a gamble that has paid off in a big way.

“We have grown together and learned to collaborate and share a vision. This [acquisition] was the next step onward. It made absolute sense as the tools work so well together,” Burgos said.

While Tutum has been popular with the Docker community, boasting 24,000 users, as an 11-person operation it sometimes had trouble convincing larger enterprise customers that it had the cachet to deliver the goods. Being part of Docker should help alleviate some of those concerns.

Docker is constantly evaluating whether to build, buy or partner, Johnston explained. It saw Tutum as a natural fit, filling in a big hole, while having a satisfied customer base, proven ability to scale and the cultural fit Docker looks for in an acquisition target.

As part of the deal, the 11-person Tutum team, which has been in New York and Madrid will move to San Francisco and become part of the Docker team as soon as the deal closes.

Tutum has raised $2.72 million since its inception. The most recent funding came in the form of a $2.65 million seed round in August, 2014. Docker has raised $162 million.

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