Is there more to container-based open source virtualization than Docker? A startup named Flockport thinks so, and has launched a website for sharing and deploying virtual apps using Linux Containers (LXC), an alternative to Docker.
In a lot of ways, what Flockport is doing is not very different from what Docker has already done pretty successfully: popularize and begin to commercialize an open source virtualization platform that virtualizes individual apps, rather than the entire operating system.
But Flockport is betting that Docker won't prove to be a good solution for everyone. In particular, Flockport is hoping to capitalize on the greater flexibility that LXC offers. The company notes on its website that "LXC is a container technology which gives you lightweight Linux containers and Docker is a single application virtualization engine based on Linux containers. With LXC you get a container that behaves like a lightweight virtual machine and you can use it as such. With Docker you get a container that can run only one application at a time. While they might appear similar they are 2 different things."
Flockport has also produced a longer exposé on the advantages of LXC over Docker.
Of course, convincing the open source community to opt for LXC rather than Docker is only part of Flockport's battle. The company also needs to attract users to its website, which launched last month, where it offers virtual apps for download. The app selection is decent already, with many of the most popular open source apps—including MySQL, WordPress and Joomla—currently available.
Judging from the massive popularity and mindshare Docker is enjoying in the open source world so far, Flockport may have a hard row to hoe (which is not the same thing as a tough road to hold, by the way) if it is to stake its share of the container-based virtualization market. But if there's one thing that's always a crowd-pleaser within the open source world, it's choice, which means it's a safe bet at least some organizations will be eager for alternatives to Docker, and may well take a close look at Flockport.