Docker launches new business plan with modifications to Docker Desktop license

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Docker announced a new subscription plan for businesses and free access to Docker Desktop for personal use, educational institutions, non-commercial open source projects, and small businesses.

Illustration: Lisa Hornung / TechRepublic

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Your business depends on the ability to deploy applications quickly and at scale. For that, you could set your sights on the container orchestration system, Kubernetes. But there’s a good chance you’ll start (and even keep using) Docker. Why? Because Docker is one of the easiest ways to start this journey with containers.

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Docker is used by millions of developers around the world to build, run, and share containerized applications. Currently, 55% of professional developers use Docker at work, which, together with an accelerated increase in supply chain attacks, has led to accelerated growth in demand for trusted Docker content (including official Docker images and Docker Verified Publisher images).

Add to that the rapid increase in the number of global developers (to around 45 million by 2030), and you’ve got the stakes for serious demand in the container space. To meet this level of demand, Docker has announced some changes to its subscription plans.

First, Docker is launching a new product subscription: Docker Business. This new plan is aimed at organizations using Docker on a large scale for application development. This new plan will include features such as secure software supply chain management, single sign-on, container registry access controls, and more.

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Another change concerns the Docker subscription service contract, which includes important changes for Docker Desktop. This desktop application for container development and deployment will remain free for:

  • Small businesses with less than 250 employees and less than $ 10 million in annual revenue.
  • Personal use.
  • Educational institutions.
  • Open source non-commercial projects.

For business use, Docker Desktop will require a paid subscription (either Pro, Team, or Business), which starts at $ 5 per month and goes up from there. Although the effective date for these terms is August 31, there will be a grace period until January 31, 2022, for those who will need a paid subscription to continue using Docker Desktop.

Another change for Docker Desktop is that Pro and Team subscriptions will now include commercial use of the tool.

Personal Docker

For those who use Docker Desktop for personal use, the free subscription plan has been renamed Docker Personal. This plan focuses on open source communities, individual developers, education, and small businesses. This plan will allow free use of all Docker components such as Docker CLI, Docker Compose, Docker Build / BuildKit, Docker Engine, Docker Desktop, Docker Hub and Docker Official Images.

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Docker Enterprise

The Docker Business subscription will enable organization-wide management and security for large-scale container deployment. This plan enables container managers to effectively observe and manage each of their Docker development environments and accelerate supply chain initiatives.

The Docker Business plan includes everything in Docker Pro and Docker Team and adds the ability to control which container images developers can access from Docker Hub. This will ensure that teams create secure applications from the start.

To add to this, the Docker Business plan will soon provide SAML single sign-on, to control which registries developers can access and the ability to remotely manage Docker Desktop instances.

In general, the objective of Docker Business is:

  • Help businesses gain visibility and control over content.
  • Manage local resources and access to external services.
  • Better manage large-scale Docker development environments.

The price of Docker Business is $ 21 / user / month, billed annually.

It should be noted that no changes will be made to Docker Engine or any upstream open source Docker or Moby project.

For more information, see the Docker FAQ and Roadmap.

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