IBM expands partnership with Docker to drive apps to the public cloud

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Docker IBM partnership public cloud

Today at DockerCon EU in Copenhagen, we’re sharing the news that IBM is expanding our relationship with Docker.

Together, IBM and Docker will be making it easier for clients to modernize their existing applications with Docker Enterprise Edition, combined with IBM Cloud, software and services.

Before we dive in, here’s a glimpse into the growth of our partnership, which is focused on three points:

  • Docker Enterprise Edition (EE) for IBM Cloud, which will allow customers to easily bring up a Docker environment to containerize their existing workloads and run them on IBM Cloud.
  • IBM’s participation in Docker’s Modernize Traditional Applications (MTA) program, so that we can help customers improve efficiency and agility by modernizing existing portfolios.
  • Certified IBM software will be available in the Docker Store, simplifying the containerization of existing software which uses IBM middleware.

For the past several years, we have collaborated with Docker to help customers realize the benefits of containers. Since then, we have expanded our work together to deliver the value of Docker and its container platform to customers in new, secure and powerful ways, whether they are running in the cloud or on IBM Systems, or a mixture of both.

Why is this important? As more companies look to migrate critical infrastructure and workloads to the cloud, they need to do so in a way that is efficient, secure, and cost effective. You may have already found that containers are the perfect solution, especially when moving from one computing environment, such as a physical machine in a data center, to a public cloud.

These new aspects of our partnership enable customers use Docker containers to more quickly move their existing applications to the cloud. Then, they can easily extend them using IBM Cloud services to help them innovate faster, build more intelligent solutions and compete.

Docker EE for IBM Cloud

Our ongoing focus and ultimate mission is to help organizations more easily migrate their current data and workloads to the public cloud. Earlier this year, we announced Docker EE available for Linux on IBM z Systems, LinuxONE and Power Systems. Built for hybrid cloud environments, this offering pairs the agility of Docker containers with the speed and scale of our enterprise servers, which can support up to one million Docker containers on a single system.

Building on this success, IBM and Docker are now working side by side to deliver an edition of Docker EE, which is great for enterprises looking to shift their workloads to containers on the IBM public cloud.

Here’s one notable aspect of this new offering: once these existing workloads are transitioned to the IBM Cloud via Docker containers, enterprise teams will be able to rapidly connect and integrate them with the services that make the IBM public cloud so attractive to many. That means companies can take their monolithic applications and make them smarter with Watson, without having to change the original application.

Using Docker on IBM Cloud, a pet supply store can containerize its digital inventory and easily connect it into cloud services such as Watson Visual Recognition and Twilio. This would allow a user to snap an image of an item, such as pet food, from their mobile phone, and then quickly receive information from the store’s databases about the item details and cost.

Joining the Docker Modernize Traditional Apps program

There’s another layer to this announcement: IBM is also joining Docker’s Modernize Traditional Applications (MTA) Program. With IT operations teams in mind, the Docker MTA program partners with companies to design and embark on cloud and containers transformation projects, which fits well with our own priority to help more of our customers modernize their legacy systems with cloud.

We’ve worked with hundreds of companies across nearly every industry over the years through our Global Business and Technology Services teams, so we know that a vast majority need a way to easily make their existing legacy apps more secure, efficient and portable to both hybrid and public cloud platforms. Now that IBM is an official Docker MTA partner, we can make it easier for both our customers and Docker users to begin moving to a modern cloud architecture on IBM Cloud.

Driving IBM Certified Content in the Docker store

It can be difficult for companies to take that first step of containerizing existing applications, which is why we are announcing that we are publishing official IBM software in the Docker store, including WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere MQ, and IBM DB2 database.

This will enable customers to quickly access the software images needed for containerization, and gain confidence in those images through the promises of container certification.

Making the move to cloud

Our existing partnership with Docker has a lot of history behind it, and through our relationship, we have become one of their trusted support partners. Our deep collaboration has now allowed us to create a unified experience through single vendor support, a comprehensive cloud platform, and a managed services portfolio that can handle even the most complex customer needs.

But we’re not stopping there. This next chapter for us and Docker will focus on our enterprise-strong mission, one that truly aids the customer on their journey to public cloud.

Discuss your thoughts on this here.

Learn more about Docker EE for IBM Cloud.

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