Containers: the Answer to Modern Development Demands

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As of May 23rd IBM Bluemix Container Service now provides a native Kubernetes operations experience while removing the burden of maintaining master nodes. Kubernetes itself is based on the Docker engine for managing software images and instantiating containers. Get the details.

Developers are under more pressure than ever to innovate, deliver, respond and react. That pressure has led to the emergence of tools and platforms that enable developers to create applications with speed. Cloud platforms like IBM Bluemix deliver the runtimes, services and tools a modern developer needs to build mobile, analytic, cognitive and web scale applications. One of the most impactful tools to emerge recently is the container, specifically Docker containers.

Containers are overtaking the application development landscape. Through portable packaging, they enable a developer to quickly, and easily, build out the software required to support an application. That container image can then be run anywhere from the developer laptop to a production cloud environment without change. This portability is also critical for hybrid cloud environments. Containers allow a developer to support traditional IT environments, on premises clouds and various public cloud environments without having to constantly change the application. Additionally, containers are fast to start and stop, easy to share and extend, and simple to reuse, making them an ideal tool for the high-pressure modern developer environment.

One of the most important environments for containers is the cloud. At IBM, we believe the cloud should provide all the tools and services a developer needs to build great applications. And we believe the cloud should be based on open standards and active communities. Our cloud was built on OpenStack and Cloud Foundry, but we have now expanded to include Docker. These three communities provide the foundation on which powerful new applications can be built. Docker has the largest and most vibrant container developer community in the industry. With its abundant amount of images and downloads, Docker enables developers to obtain the promised benefits of containers.

This week IBM is announcing production support for IBM Containers as a part of Bluemix. IBM Containers is a full runtime and management environment that enables a developer to host his Docker containers in the cloud. Unlike container support from other cloud providers, IBM Containers does not require a developer to manage virtual machines, docker hosts or any other infrastructure to support his containers. Developers can simply focus on managing and running their container images. IBM Containers provides private image repositories for added privacy and high performance hosting of running container based applications for even the most demanding applications.

IBM Containers for Bluemix

Modern developers need more than basic execution of containers in the cloud. Containers should be surrounded with advanced capabilities allowing production applications to be deployed and managed with ease, giving developers the freedom to truly innovate. IBM containers provides this through:

  • Integrated tools such as log analytics, performance monitoring and delivery pipeline, simplifying life cycle management.
  • Elastic scaling of containers, with auto recovery, providing resources when you need them most.
  • Zero downtime deployments utilizing Active Deploy, ensuring users are never impacted by application enhancements.
  • Private network overlays, load balancing and automated routing enabling you to address even the most complex business requirements.
  • Access to Bluemix services, a powerful catalog of over 100 cloud services including Watson, Analytics and Mobile.
  • Support for persistent storage allowing data-centric application creation.
  • Automated image security and vulnerability scanning with Vulnerability Advisor alerts you of security weaknesses before you deploy.


Additionally as a Docker based service, IBM containers include open features and interfaces such as the new Docker Compose orchestration services.

So what’s next? Support for containers is just the beginning. Containers are an important component of microservice applications when surrounded by services like service discovery and intelligence service proxies. To support hybrid cloud applications the capabilities of IBM containers will show up in dedicated and local cloud environments, enabling applications to move easily across cloud borders.

Want to get started? Check out IBM Containers!

IBM Fellow, VP, and CTO, Cloud Platform

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