Docker subscription revenue 30 times higher than three years ago, CEO claims

Docker subscription revenue 30 times higher than three years ago, CEO claims

Docker CEO Scott Johnston says the company’s annual recurring revenue has increased by 30 times in the past 3 years.

At a press briefing yesterday, the company also presented new Docker features including Docker Scout, which replaces Snyk security scanning, and Telepresence, offered in conjunction with Ambassador Labs, which connects Docker development environments to Kubernetes clusters.

Johnston attributed the revenue increase to “the trust we’ve grown with more than 70,000 commercial customers,” though another factor is a succession of price increases and reduction in the scope of free and low-cost Docker plans. The downside of these changes has been abrupt and severe alterations in terms that have, on occasion, left users feeling coerced, and some have looked for other options such as the Suse-sponsored Rancher Desktop. The benefit though is that a company which at one time had doubtful viability now looks relatively healthy, which is a good thing given that its products are embedded in many developer workflows. Johnston also noted that over 13 million developers remain on free plans.

Docker shows off its increased subscription revenue

At the briefing, there was also a discussion panel including Docker founder Solomon Hykes, now working on CI/CD (Continuous Integration and Delivery) pipelines at new startup Dagger. Hykes said the original innovation of Docker was to reposition containers from being lightweight virtual machines to become application abstractions, “a means to package and deliver applications,” he said. “It was a different way of looking at it.”

Docker CEO Johnston said the company’s focus now is on developer team productivity, software supply chain security and observability/management of development environments. He also said that Docker’s evolution is guided by telemetry from existing users, stating that “we collect, anonymously, over 23,000 events every second.”

Vulnerability analysis with Docker Scout

Docker Scout is a new feature, now in preview, for scanning container images for vulnerabilities and other possible issues. Johnston said it is the first step in managing the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle). The existing “docker scan” command, which uses a Snyk scanning service, is now deprecated in favor of a new “docker scout” command. Docker Scout has a free tier limited to just 5 images pushed to a registry per month, per organization. The Pro version is $9.00 per user per month and ups that limit to 500, also promising features including notification for new CVEs (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures), and open source license auditing, though these are described as “features coming soon.” The Team subscription at $19.00 per month covers 5,000 images pushes and will add other features including a secure image build service, also “coming soon”. Finally a business subscription will add unlimited images plus policy definition and enforcement when available, but the price is “contact us”.

We tried Docker Scout on an old image in Docker Desktop, as well as the old Docker Scan from the command line. Results were similar, though the Scout results are nicely presented in the GUI. Scout identified 37 vulnerabilities in our case, and Scan 38 vulnerabilities.

Telepresence for Docker, offered in partnership with Ambassador Labs, is a way of bridging remote Kubernetes environments with local development environments. It can route traffic between Kubernetes clusters and local containers, via a two-way network proxy. Remote clusters can be configured for access by multiple Telepresence users, potentially avoiding the need for local Kubernetes setups for each developer.

Docker told us it “still supports using third party tools such as Snyk”.