The sun sets on original Docker PaaS

In a shrinking PaaS market, dotCloud could no longer compete with more upscale competitors

The sun sets on original Docker PaaS
The sun sets over the Indian Ocean on May 29, 2015 Credit: Martyn Williams

In yet another sign that the Docker container technology has grown bigger than any one PaaS, the dotCloud PaaS from which Docker originated will be shut down Feb. 29, as it no longer has a discernible advantage over more upscale competitors.

Docker was originally created as an internal application for dotCloud by Solomon Hykes, but generated so much interest that it was spun off into its own product. dotCloud even changed its name to Docker Inc., to better declare its newfound direction, and eventually sold dotCloud to the Berlin-based startup CloudControl, a PaaS used mainly by European customers.

Over the past two years, Docker has become a standard in cloud environments, from Amazon to Google to Azure. The commodification of Docker across PaaS and IaaS (even SaaS) platforms, and the consolidation of the PaaS market in general, made it harder for dotCloud to stand out.

As a result of the consolidation, smaller, more developer-focused PaaSes have been on the wane. With all of them using the same open source bits, the race has gone to those with the biggest market share (Amazon), the deepest enterprise roots (Microsoft), or large and flexible infrastructures (Google). 

CloudControl had been feeling the pain of that market consolidation and cited "the insolvency of our parent company [CloudControl]" as the chief reason for dotCloud's shutdown.

Developers still on dotCloud are being directed to use the Heroku PaaS as a substitute, since dotCloud uses Heroku's buildpacks system. Heroku, one of the original name-brand PaaSes, was acquired by Salesforce back in 2010 and is being retooled to better complement Salesforce's enterprise orientation.

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