December 20, 2017 By Shadi Albouyeh 4 min read

Introducing Docker Enterprise Edition for IBM Cloud

Today, we’re excited to announce Docker Enterprise Edition for IBM Cloud!

Docker Enterprise Edition (Docker EE) is a Container-as-a-Service platform for IT that manages and secures diverse applications across disparate infrastructure. It’s designed for enterprise development and IT teams who build, ship, and run business-critical applications in production and at scale, by bringing traditional applications and microservices built on Windows, Linux or Linux-on-mainframe into a single, secure software supply chain.

The latest version of Docker EE is 17.06.

As you look to modernize and extend your applications, Docker EE for IBM Cloud provides an unmanaged native Docker environment running within IBM Cloud, giving you the ability to consume services from the catalog like Watson, IoT, Data, Logging and Monitoring, and many more.

Docker EE standardizes legacy, microservices and ISV applications with uniform packaging that does not require changes to the underlying code. With Docker EE for IBM Cloud you not only gain basic tier features like the Docker platform for certified infrastructure, with support from Docker Inc. and certified containers and plugins from Docker Store, but also standard and advanced tier features that include, image and container management, LDAP/AD user integration, and role-based access control, Docker Security Scanning and continuous vulnerability monitoring, which together comprise Docker EE.

Currently this is a closed beta, but new users can sign up to request access. Our team will be in touch shortly with registration details.

Getting Started

Docker for IBM Cloud comes with a variety of integrations that simplify the swarm administration process. Leverage the Docker for IBM Cloud CLI plug-in (bx d4ic) and the Docker Universal Control Plane (UCP) to create, manage, and delete swarm clusters.

When you gain access to the beta, you will receive a token-imbedded-link to the Docker procurement center, where you may redeem the token for an EE advanced evaluation 90 day license for 20 linux x86-64 nodes. When you create your cluster using the IBM Cloud ‘bx d4ic’ CLI plug-in, you will use this license.

Use this step by step preview for quick setup and configuration of a working Docker swarm-mode install on IBM Cloud.

Step 1: Accounts

Ensure you have an IBM Cloud account that can create infrastructure resources.

Next, add your SSH key to IBM Cloud infrastructure, label it, then get your IBM Cloud infrastructure account API credentials.

If you have not already done so, create a space in the IBM Cloud, specifying your preferred region.

Step 2: CLI

Install the IBM Cloud CLI, and then install the Docker for IBM Cloud and IBM Cloud Container Registry specific CLIs:

$ bx plugin install docker-for-ibm-cloud -r Bluemix

$ bx plugin install container-registry -r Bluemix

$ bx plugin list

Step 3: Creating swarm clusters

Before you begin, log in to IBM Cloud and target the org and space you created.

Next, create your swarm cluster by providing a name, your infrastructure API credentials, SSH label, and Docker EE installation URL provided in the beta welcome email:

bx d4ic create –swarm-name my_swarm \
–sl-user \
–sl-api-key api-key\
–ssh-label my_ssh_label \
–ssh-key filepath_to_my_ssh_key \
–docker-ee-url my_docker-ee-url

Take note of the cluster Name and ID to check on its provisioning status:

$ docker logs name_ID


Your Docker EE for IBM Cloud cluster is now provisioning.

Step 4: Use UCP

Docker for IBM Cloud uses Docker Universal Control Plane (UCP) to help you manage your cluster through a simple interface.

Access UCP

Get your UCP password from the Docker logs Outputs, and your UCP URL from the D4IC list command:

$ docker logs cluster-name_ID

$ bx d4ic list –sl-user –sl-api-key api_key

In your browser, copy the UCP URL and append /manage/dashboard/dockercli to it:


Log in to UCP, using the credentials `admin` and the UCP password from the `docker logs` command.

We’re almost done!

We just need to download the UCP certificate bundle, so that you can create and deploy services from your local Docker client to the cluster.

Download Client Certificates

From the UCP GUI, click admin > My Profile > Client Bundles > New Client Bundle. A zip file is generated.

In the GUI, you are shown a label and public key, which you can edit to give it a name such as d4ic-ucp.

In a terminal, navigate to the client bundle, move it to a safe and accessible location, unzip it, and run the script to update your Docker environment variables. For instance:

$ cd Downloads && mv ~/d4ic/ && unzip && source

That’s it!

Now you can start using the power of your fully configured and scaled Swarm to deploy Docker apps on IBM Cloud.

For questions or comments, email us at

We are looking forward to your feedback!

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