Docker acquires London startup Orchard Laboratories

Orchard Laboratories makes the Orchard and Fig applications - popular projects to come out of the Docker open source ecosystem.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

The open source engine Docker announced Wednesday that it has acquired London-based Orchard Laboratories, makers of the Orchard and Fig applications. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. 

Docker is an open source tool that automates the deployment of any application as a manageable, self-sufficient container that can run practically anywhere. The Orchard application is a service for hosting Docker containers, and Fig is a tool for orchestrating local development environments.

Both the Orchard and Fig applications were popular projects to come out of the Docker ecosystem, but it seems that only one will survive the acquisition. According to a blog post on the Orchard website:

Both Orchard and Fig are small pieces of the puzzle. While Fig has caught on, Orchard hasn’t to the same extent, so we’ll be closing it down on October 23rd. There’s a migration guide to help you move your containers, images and data elsewhere.

Ben Firshman and Aanand Prasad. Image via Docker.

Docker also has pretty detailed plans for the next steps of the combined companies. Orchard CEO Ben Firshman and co-founder Aanand Prasad will lead developer environment initiatives at Docker while continuing to maintain Fig.

Docker listed additional plans in its own blog post:

First, in parallel to maintaining Fig, Ben and Aanand will help incorporate into Docker the orchestration interfaces that they wished were available when building their own tools on top of it. 'There are a thousand ways to implement orchestration. But those should be a thousand plugins, exposed to the developer through a unified, elegant interface.' We agree, and can’t wait to build this interface together.

Second, they will lead a new Developer Experience group – or DX for short. The goal of DX is to make Docker awesome to use for developers. This means anything from fixing UI details, improving Mac and Windows support, providing more tutorials, integrating with other popular developer tools, or simply using Docker a lot and reporting problems.

Firshman and Prasad said they plan to stay in London to head up a new Docker location, which Docker said will help the company expand its European footprint. 


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