CoreOS acquires Quay.io to give Docker users better control of their data

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CoreOS, the startup that builds a custom Linux OS for servers that also functions as the heart that powers Docker containers, plans to announce Wednesday that it has acquired Quay.io — a two-man development shop that specializes in hawking private Docker repositories. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. With the addition, CoreOS is rolling out a new Enterprise Registry feature for customers of its Managed Linux service, created for companies who don’t want to deal with the administrative duties of maintaining and updating an OS.

In the Docker ecosystem, Docker repositories are essentially the virtual boxes that house Docker images; these Docker images contain all the ingredients of an application, like its source code and binary files, and they are also responsible for directing the Docker platform to spin up containers in specific ways dependent on each application.

While Docker users can choose to host their application’s source code and related ingredients inside the Docker Hub, which is the Docker-sanctioned cloud-based repository where Docker images live, users can also choose to have their images stored in separate repositories; this is where Quay and the new CoreOS Enterprise Registry come to play.

Quay’s private repositories are pretty much the virtual boxes containing Docker images that companies can choose to have in-house instead of out in the cloud. Using APIs, the private repositories can communicate with the Docker platform in order to make it spin up containers based on the stored Docker images, explained CoreOS CEO Alex Polvi.

“This is for companies that want to control all the data and run the registries themselves on their own infrastructure,” said Polvi.

Quay.io repository admin screen

Quay.io repository admin screen

Using a private repository can be beneficial to companies that are paranoid about having their prized source code out in the cloud, said Polvi. The new Enterprise Registry that CoreOS is launching can be likened to GitHub Enterprise, which is the paid version of GitHub in which users can have their GitHub-submitted code hosted on their own machines.

The startup will also be opening a New York office with its two new employees — Jacob Moshenko and Joseph Schorr — who are both based in the Big Apple; the new CoreOS additions were both previously Google engineers.

CoreOS’s news comes at a time when Docker’s buzz has been skyrocketing; the container-management startup is currently valued at $400 million and slated to take in a significant amount of funding in upcoming weeks, as Gigaom previously reported.

Docker has also been working on beefing up its tools surrounding the Docker platform, as its recent purchase of Orchard Laboratories and its container orchestration service, Fig, can attest too.

It’s fascinating to note the new services popping up around the Docker environment, something Docker CEO Ben Golub foresaw happening as he explained to me in June. Earlier this week saw the launch of CenturyLink Labs’s container orchestration service called Panamax, which is similar to Fig in that it also helps coordinate the deployment of multiple containers; Panamax can run on any bare-metal machine or cloud, just as long as they support CoreOS.

For Polvi, the hype around Docker can be attributed to the growing interest in new ways of operating a datacenter a la Google, which has been pretty open to the public in detailing how it manages its humongous infrastructure using containers and its Kubernetes tool.

“What Docker is an indicator of is running your infrastructure in warehouse-scale computing,” said Polvi.

Post and thumbnail images courtesy of Shutterstock user Vallepu.

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