Much of Linux's early business success was based on the Linux, Apache, MySQL and Python/PHP/Perl (LAMP) stack. Looking ahead Red Hat and Docker is hoping that "RHELDoc," a software stack made up of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Docker containers, can do for the cloud and data center what LAMP did for servers.
The two are doing this by launching one of the first certified, end-to-end ecosystem programs for Linux containers based on Docker. This follows up on Red Hat's earlier announcement in March of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Atomic Host (RHELAH). This program integrated RHEL and Docker.
Now, with this new Red Hat Connect for Technology Partners program, Red Hat will be helping its thousands of partners to design, develop and deliver certified, trusted and secure application containers to end users using the Docker container format and the Docker Engine. This will help them to create an efficient, composable fabric of lightweight "microservices" that can be woven into more complex applications.
In its announcement, Red Hat said that containerized applications will require enterprise class support and security and the certainty that a Linux container actually contains its intended application. Therefore, "Red Hat will balance this desire for application flexibility and innovation with enterprise security and reliability, by taking application containers to the same state of enterprise readiness and support as the company did for Linux nearly 13 years ago. Underpinning this effort is a new overarching partner program designed to accelerate a vibrant ecosystem of technology companies whose solutions run on or integrate with Red Hat."
Participating partners will gain access to the Red Hat Container Development Kit (CDK). This is a collection of tools and resources that enable developers to easily build containerized Docker applications. The program will also provide partners documentation, knowledge bases and forums, as well as certification tools. These tools will verify that a container's content is from trusted sources and that both it and the container itself are secure and free of known vulnerabilities. Needless to say, this will also serve as a guarantee that the program will run on the Red Hat software stack.
Finally, the new Red Hat's container ecosystem program will offer a distribution platform, the Red Hat Container Registry for these certified application containers. Besides giving ISVs a way to sell their containers to customers, it will eventually enable partners and ISVs to host their own registries for Red Hat certified containers
This will both mitigate the risk and security concerns that come with containers and give Red Hat partners a ready-made marketplace for their products. It also won't hurt that Docker CEO Ben Golub is strongly in favor of the partnership.
Golub, in a press release, stated:
We are excited to see Red Hat create a certification program that will drive even more ISVs to create Docker container based services, which furthers the already incredible content choice for developers. Docker and Red Hat continue to collaborate closely in the community, to advance the Docker container format and Engine, and to define open standards in areas like trust and provenance. We are also exploring ways to federate Red Hat certified content from Red Hat Container Registry into Docker Hub and Docker Hub Enterprise to provide users the broadest array of Dockerized apps to choose from to compose distributed applications.
In a statement, Paul Cormier, Red Hat's executive vice president of Products and Technologies, said:
Containers represent a massive shift in how enterprises consume applications, but in doing so the critical aspects of the traditional application lifecycle, namely security and certification, must be retained as well. With the industry's first certified, secure, end-to-end container ecosystem, Red Hat now leads the way in enabling Linux containers for the enterprise, from conceptualization to development to delivery, maintain the key innovations of the technology without sacrificing the basic enterprise needs.