Tutum is set to dockerize the Enterprise.


Read Quote of Marc Andreessen's answer to How big a factor is luck in startup success? on Quora

Bryan Lee, in charge of growth in tutum.co introduced me to Borja Burgos, the co-founder and CEO. Borja and I met this week in La Boulange, cafe on University Avenue in Palo Alto. He travels to Bay Area from his head-office in New York city every six weeks or so.
Photo 1: Borja (right) and Miha in La Boulange cafe, Palo Alto.

Where does the name "tutum" come from?

No, is not a  "tamtam" derivative,

It has no connection to actor Tatum Channing or actress Tatum O'Neal .

If you google with patience, you will discover the motto of the Scottish Crawford clan:

Tutum te robore reddam (I will give you safety by strength)

Voila! Tutum means safety in Latin, a very fit name for a company dealing not only with one container, but lots of docker containers, and focuses to Enterprise and huge data centers

The International Spaniard

Borja Burgos-Galindo is a citizen of the world. His parents lived many years in Germany, Belgium and US (where Borja was born). His brother lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Borja worked at Capgemini, Wells Fargo and studied at Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Tech, University of Hyogo in Japan. He lived in Chile and Argentina, but before that he lived in Kobe (Japan), Pittsburg, San Francisco, Warsaw, Atlanta, Charlotte, Mons (Belgium) and Madrid. Now he settled in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, "one metro station away from Manhattan" and has an apartment 5 minutes walk from Tutum US office. He is 28 years old!

As a graduate student  at University of Hyogo in Japan he noticed  a security flaw in the university's card access system. Although it was not his area of expertise, he researched and quickly familiarized  with NFC technology. Borja developed a patch to improve the security of the system, and provided it to the university at no cost. "I'm proud of how things turned out"  he says

How did Tutum start?

Buenos Aires

"After finishing my master degree at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), I was interested in cloud containers and security. I wanted to explore this potential in Enterprise and I moved to Chile. Then I contacted Fernando Mayo Fernández, the current CTO and co-founder. We know each other from elementary school. We got two small seed funds from NXTP Labs in Argentina Start-Up Chile in Santiago . So we moved to Buenos Aires starting to develop from October 2013 a cloud container as a service service, something that will sit between the IaaS and PaaS. We were three engineers on this project: Bernardo Pericacho, Fernando and I. We wanted to create something that manages the IaaS and simple enough to use like Heroku"

Borja knew containers will play a key role in the cloud. Google, IBM, and all big players started to develop container services.

New York

"After three month, the program ended and all three of us moved back to Madrid. From Madrid we approached Techstars startup accelerator in New York City and we got funded. Fernando, Bernardo and I moved to US. Bryan Lee, a friend of mine from Georgia Tech joined us to deal with growth. Two more engineers joined , one is Hongling Feng, a close friend a from CMU
Photo 2: From left: Bryan Lee, Fernando Mayo, Bernardo Pericacho, Borja, Graham Caroll and Hongling Feng
This was May 2014, not even a year ago. I imagine the tutum team share a similar sense of humor, ambitions, passion and dreams This adds to their technical creativity. We all know incubators and VCs look at the people first and how they work together. Tutum is like a dream candidate team that any experienced VC firm will pay attention to.

The Photo 2 is artsy, they all look like the cast of a hit Broadway show. Here is how they look in everyday life
Photo 3: Drinking beer from left: Daniel Zavala, Alberto, Fernando, Pablo, and Borja.

What Tutum offers?

"By June 2014, we were offering our hosting and services of containers. By that time Docker grew immensely since I fist heard of them in March 2013, when they were a small operation. So by Septembers 2014, we stop including the hosting as part of our service......  We still run in beta and we expect to go out of beta by June 2015."

Docker and Solomon Hykes name were everywhere. This clarified the new direction of Tutum.

This is what Bryan Lee wrote in a  September 2013 blog entry - a few weeks after Tutum reached $2.7 million in funding:
The objective of Tutum is to become a complete container platform on which to build, deploy and manage your containerized applications. The end goal is to provide a service that is simple, but does not compromise on control and flexibility.
Photo 4: The historic meeting of Tutum with Docker
From left Ben Golub CEO Docker, Borja CEO Tutum, Fernarnado CTO Tutum and Solomon Hykes, CTO Docker

Docker and Tutum

Lucas Carlson of CenturyLink Labs asked Borja in an interview
 Why not just run your own docker? So docker the whole premise of Docker is that you can set it up very easily. Any linux distribution can run a Docker daemon and you should just be able to set up Docker and run containers anywhere. Why not just set up a Digital Ocean or a CenturyLink Cloud virtual machine, put Docker on it, and deploy your apps that way? Why use a hosted Docker?
This  "Why?"  is from Simon Sinek   : "People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it."

 Borja reply is crystal clear:
 Docker is great, they’ve been able to put a great interface on some primitives and build a great open source project. But at the end of the day the Docker container is nothing but a building block. An awesome building block, but a building block. Meaning the moment you start trying to do containers at scale, you start running into problems. How do I run containers in two different hosts for redundancy purposes? How do I get visibility into what containers deployed into which hosts? How am I supposed to load balance the traffic that’s coming to the different containers running across multiple hosts, across multiple clouds, right? And these problems are not solved by the basic building block, which is the Docker container. Hence, the reason for having something on top. That layer of orchestration, management, deployment, and that is what Tutum is.

When not everything can be dockerized

This is another reason to use Tutum on specific Data Centers, says Borja:
Today anything that satisfies the 12-factor stateless application, it’s a great use-case and we work seamlessly. But if I want to run MySQL today with Tutum, the data that has been stored in MySQL would die when that container dies. Now that isn’t great for anything close to production level systems. So that is the one thing we need to keep developing and working. We hope to have a solid solution for that in the future,  a persistent storage solution.
See Note  (1)


Stackoverflow thread  Does it make sense to dockerize (containerize) databases? has a clear answer on why the ideal Docker solution needs to have data inside the container - a problem not solved yet.
One of the main reasons for containerizing your databases is so that you can have the same consistent environment for your entire app, not just the stateless parts, across dev, staging and production. A consistent environment is one of the promises of docker, but when your database lives outside this model, there is a big difference that can't be accounted for in your testing. Also, by containerizing your database as well as the rest of your app, you are more likely to be able to move your entire app between hosting providers (say from AWS to Google Compute). If you use Amazon RDS, for example, even if you can move your web nodes to Google, you won't be able to move your database, meaning that you are heavily dependent on your cloud provider.
Another reason for containerizing data services is performance. This is particularly true for service providers (all the database as a service offerings- e.g. rackspace cloud databases- run in containers), because containers allow you to provide service guarantees that aren't possible using virtualization, and running one database per physical machine is not financially viable. 
In an Enterprise environment , data is a grey area when deploying containers - at least for now.

It is nice to know that Tutum, - whose CEO,  as a student "noticed a security flaw in the Hyogo university's card access system" and fixed it -  will take care of the container deployment  in your Enterprise data in the best possible way

Is Docker worth using for managing apps on a  personal computer?

This is actually the essence of Docker revolution.  Here is a reply on Quora to this question from
Zachary Smith, CEO of Packet.net  as user
I think that docker is a fantastic tool for developers looking to install and run packages app/services on their local workstations and run in sync with a complex staging + production environment.  We've been running a full dev lifecycle this way at Packet
(packet.net Premium Bare Metal and Cloud Hosting) and, after getting through some initial hiccups, its been a game changer for our engineers.

Who needs Tutum?

All Fortune 500 companies need Tutum, says Borja.  But the need is one thing, to buy is another thing We live in an era of developer-focused startups which are now funded and Tutum container offer must be easy to use and must create passion in users.

In my humble opinion, Docker, the open source project creates the passion. In December Docker launched Docker Hub Enterprise, a place where both developers and system administrators can go to find Linux containers that have already been formatted for specific business purposes. Cool, but using those containers requires an easy to use orchestration that can be offered by external Docker- focused companies.

Developers and DevOps are people too and having technical skills does not mean  they will use whatever. They have preferences, likes, sentiments, spouses. Tutum must enter their lives in and make their work a pleasure.

The Tutum size and capitalization is tiny compared to the requirement of the big guys as enterprise customers. They need first alliances

Tutum is actively hiring UX young graduates in this hot new field. See job openings on their web site.

Native Support

Tutum claims it can work on any IaaS platform using an agent. But they have native support on certain platforms, and  they may become part of the midnight Docker dream. For now Tutum has native support for AWS, Digital Ocean and Azure.

Conversations with Joyent

Borja met with Bryan Cantrill , Joyent's CTO to create a Tutum landing place on Joyent's infrastructure and Data Center Software

Joyent SmartOs containers will run Linux applications. SmartOs is the successor of Solaris containers - called Zones. Zones are similar in concept to Jails (enhanced chroot), but also take advantage of features included with ZFS ­— namely snapshots and cloning. This gives the ability to quickly clone or duplicate a current zone into a new zone.

 See Note (2)

Also for Tutum on Joyent, there is no requirement to start a separate Linux server to use docker. One can deploy directly on Joyent IaaS.

A partnership Joyent with Tutum  creates credibility in the Fortune 500 space. The resulting reliability will be music to the ears of the security obsessed CIOs who want Docker, but they are afraid of its' newness. Tutum newsletter includes Docker news for those readers who had a lot of questions, but they were afraid to ask. Tutum are are always gentle, non-elitist and give the users confidence.

At least, this is how I felt.

My take up.

Tutum is an extraordinary team made up of motivated dreamers who are living the best time of their lives. There is no need to penetrate all 500 Fortune accounts. If they have only five happy Fortune 500 customers, Tutum equity will go ballistic.

Experience has shown that competent technical entrepreneurs without previous experience can learn business fast, They need to execute an original sales plan for enterprises, have clarity, and then ask for additional funding

Looking at  my crystal ball, even Docker itself might be interested in Tutum, - who will have a lot of suitors.

 I don't make predictions, As Bryan Cantrill from Joyent says predictions in essence are logging the present opinions - what we think the future will be at a given moment. He calls 2015 the year of the Docker

It will make sense for  Docker to merge one day with Tutum  to create a billion plus equity. They share the same European culture planted in the rich soil of entrepreneurship here in US, I can see Tutum becoming a top acquisition target in 2015, whether or not this acquisition will materialize or not.

An independent blogger, like me, is like "le buffon du roi" (the king's jester). We have a license to say what we think - as we don't have some worried investors fretting on our backs.

Tutum is set to dockerize the Enterprise. You better take them seriously

Note (1)  

Tutum added on February 4, 2015 Release 0.11.5 

"Volumes: directories to hold reusable and shareable data (by the same service when it's redeployed, or by other services) stored outside of the container's filesystem that can persist when containers are terminated."

 This essentially solves the previous lack of persistent storage in tutum

Note (2)

Bryan Cantrill  revolutionary Joyent presentation and demo on Docker and the future of containers in production, explains The video - worth watching - is here  

We believe that the developer ease of Docker combined with the proven production substrate of SmartOS and SmartDataCenter yields the best of all worlds • The future of containers is one without compromise: developer efficiency, operational elasticity, multi-tenant security and on-the-metal performance!
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