The 5,000 container fans attending DockerCon SF 18 this week had a whale of a time. Whipped into a frenzy by Golden State Warriors “hype man” Franco Finn, the keynote crowd for the fifth annual event was treated to a celebration of all things containers, from Docker to Kubernetes and beyond.

docker ceo steve singh at dockdercon

Docker has played a key role in developing and popularizing containers, and CEO and chairman Steve Singh said making containers available to everyone was a “simple but powerful idea” that changed how software is built and shared. Today, Singh said, containers are everywhere, from Linux to Windows, in on-premise data centers and in hybrid and public clouds, running every kind of application. To help continue that momentum, Docker announced three new technology advancements designed to make it easier to employ containers in a wide variety of complex environments (more on that below).

Growth by the numbers

Singh buttressed his optimism with some impressive stats. In the last year, Docker has added more than 1 million new developers and 1 million new applications, and is recording more than 1 billion container downloads every two weeks. (He later told reporters that the company’s annual sales are approaching triple-digit millions.)

The technology’s growth is “just getting started,” he claimed, with almost half of DockerCon attendees having started using Docker just in the last year. In fact, some 20% of attendees got their first-ever Docker training at the event.

customer speakers at dockercon

Docker is finding a particularly welcoming home in the enterprise, Singh said. Docker now boasts more than 500 commercial customers, a figure that has doubled in the past year. (Singh noted that at least 18 of those enterprise customers were speaking at DockerCon.)

Docker loves Windows

docker and windows logos

One reason for that success, Singh said, is Docker’s commitment to agility and choice. For example, he cited IDC statistics showing 88% of enterprise container users put them on multiple operating systems (and average of 4.1), not just Linux. In fact, more than half use both Windows and Linux containers.

In that light, it wasn’t too surprising to see Microsoft Corporate Vice President Erin Chapple on stage, demoing a technical preview of support for Windows Server containers in Kubernetes in Docker Enterprise Edition.

docker stats slide

Federated application management

But that’s only part of the story. Perhaps more important, Docker also announced a technical preview of the ability to manage multiple applications—on premise, in the cloud, or across cloud-hosted Kubernetes—in a single dashboard. Expected to be available later this year, Docker Enterprise Edition’s new federated application management also makes it easier to consistently enforce security policies across heterogenous environments, saving time and reducing errors.

docker enterprise edition diagram

“Containers are portable but management of containers is not,” Singh explained. Noting that 85% or enterprise IT organizations are multi-cloud in one sense or another, he touted Docker as “a great way to move apps to the cloud, or from one cloud to another cloud” as business needs evolve.

Making containers easier

Singh credited that growth to a commitment to open source and providing value to everyone in the organization, from helping developers work faster to giving IT operations an integrated platform to letting system architects work with their preferred methodologies and technology stacks. Even executives benefit, he said, as containers help drive software innovation throughout the company.

To help spread that gospel to newbie developers, Docker Product Manager Gareth Rushgrove introduced a well-received demo of the Docker Desktop GUI, a new template-based graphical user interface for Docker Desktop designed to help inexperienced developers design—and share—new workflows without having to master the command line to write Dockerfiles or Compose files.

These days, not only is every company a software company, but the sharing of software innovation has also become critical, Singh told the crowd. The future depends on companies of all kinds, not just technology firms, sharing their software innovations with others, Singh claimed, so that those companies can leverage it for their own innovation. The result? A “ridiculously powerful” force destined to bring “foundational change” to corporate IT strategies and drive digital transformation.

And New Relic was there!

That’s great and all, but for many attendees, the highlight of this year’s DockerCon was the New Relic booth. Designed to help customers “Know faster, transform faster, and see the truth in your containers,” the booth featured technical experts, lightning talks on monitoring Docker with New Relic, and our awesome swag. And to drive home the importance of speed, we even had a high-speed racing simulation game.

new relic booth racing cars at dockercon


More resources from DockerCon SF 18:


Photos by Fredric Paul'

Fredric Paul (aka The Freditor) is Editor in Chief for New Relic. He's an award-winning writer, editor, and content strategist who has held senior editorial positions at ReadWrite,, InformationWeek, CNET, Electronic Entertainment, PC World, and PC|Computing. His writing has appeared in MIT Technology Review, Omni, Conde Nast Traveler, and Newsweek, among other places. View posts by .

Interested in writing for New Relic Blog? Send us a pitch!