Docker wants to make the use of its product easier for the enterprise. To that end, the company announced Thursday the release of Docker Enterprise Edition, or Docker EE. This isn't to be confused with the company's previous professional product, Docker Datacenter, which doesn't completely go away with the new release, but which is included as a module, The free and open source version of Docker has been rebranded as Docker Community Edition, or Docker CE.

"Docker Datacenter was the foundation for our commercially supported engine," explained David Messina, Docker’s SVP of marketing. "What is now being packaged is an evolution of what we sold previously, but also part of an entirely new product,"

Docker EE will include tools for orchestration, security, and administration, and ships to run on CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Ubuntu, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), Oracle Linux, and Windows Server 2016. For cloud provisioning, it's ready to go on AWS and Azure.

Stable releases of both Docker CE and EE will be quarterly, with CE also receiving a monthly "Edge" release for developers wanting to work with the latest implementation. Versioning numbers are also changing to a system based on the release date. The current release, for example is 1703 for March, 2017, and the next release in June will be 1706. Each Enterprise Edition release will be supported and maintained for one year.

Coinciding with this release is the opening of a new Docker Store offering third party products, such as containers and plugins, that are certified by Docker to work as advertised. First announced as a beta offering last summer, the Docker Store isn't to be confused with Docker Hub, the free online repository of container applications.

According to marketing director Michael Friis, Docker EE is available in three tiers:

Basic: The Docker platform for certified infrastructure, with support from Docker and certified containers and plugins from Docker Store.

Standard: Adds advanced image and container management, LDAP/AD user integration, and role-based access control (Docker Datacenter).

Advanced: Adds Docker Security Scanning and continuous vulnerability monitoring.

The monthly fees for support? Basic will run $750, Standard is $1,500 and Advanced is $2,000. Of course, web hosting, if needed, is extra.

This is a good move by Docker, which has seen the container space it once almost single-handedly owned become crowded. By reducing the complexity of using its products, which in large part is what this Enterprise Edition is about, it should assure its place as a market leader for the foreseeable future.