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The biggest public cloud provider is finally waking up to one of the hottest enabling technologies around for shipping applications to the cloud.

Today public cloud market leader Amazon Web Services announced support for open-source technology called Docker on Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon’s platform as a service, which is comparable to services like Google App Engine and Heroku.

Docker lets developers write applications on their desktops and then send it for testing or production deployment on another machine — like a public cloud, for instance — without changing the code. Everything sits inside a Docker “container,” which can be easily moved from one environment to another.

Now it’s possible to run entire applications that sit inside a Docker container on Elastic Beanstalk. “You can think of Docker as an exciting and powerful new runtime environment for Elastic Beanstalk, joining the existing Node.JS, PHP, Python, .NET, Java, and Ruby environments,” Amazon Web Services chief evangelist Jeff Barr wrote in a blog post today.


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Such support could bode well for Amazon Web Services, bringing it up to par with other cloud providers and technology companies that have come around to support Docker, including CenturyLink, DigitalOcean, Google, and Red Hat.

Another interesting implication: By supporting Docker, Amazon becomes more open to the simple movement of applications in and out of its cloud. Enterprises and startups have been thinking increasingly seriously about running applications on multiple clouds, and now such companies may move applications in Docker containers to and from Amazon.

Perhaps the biggest winner here is the company that came up with the Docker technology — which happens also to be named Docker.

Elastic Beanstalk news is really big,” Docker chief executive Ben Golub wrote in an email to VentureBeat. “Docker is becoming the de facto standard for containerization, and the ecosystem of places and people where Docker comes standard is growing rapidly.”

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