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Docker, the startup that has spearheaded a revolution in application development by popularizing container technology for packaging up application code, has added networking talent to its team by acquiring a months-old startup laser-focused on networking for containers, Socketplane, the company announced today in a blog post.

Socketplane came forth and talked about what it was doing just four months ago. Its team includes networking experts from Cisco and Red Hat.

The deal is particularly interesting when you consider that Ben Golub, Docker’s chief executive, denied the acquisition Monday in a conversation with VentureBeat, calling it rumors and speculation. Guess not, Ben!

Well-funded Docker last year made a couple of acquisitions, but the market for containers — which can be thought of as an alternative to virtual machines, which have been around for more than a decade — has been heating up thanks to the rise of several container-oriented startups and product or partnership announcements from several enterprise software companies.

Another startup working in this domain is Weaveworks. Some have pointed to the shortcomings of Docker’s containers from a networking perspective, which is particularly true following the rise in recent years of software-defined networking and open-source systems such as Open vSwitch.

Socketplane started last year, with its head office in Palo Alto, California. Lightspeed Venture Partners backed the startup, which had fewer than 10 employees.


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