IBM unveiled today technologies and services designed to make Docker containers robust enough to run even the most mission-critical of enterprise applications. Big Blue made the announcement in conjunction with the second annual DockerCon conference that kicks off in San Francisco Monday.
Specifically, IBM is making available elastic scaling and auto recovery tools, private overlays, load balancing, and automated routing capabilities. It is also adding support for Docker containers to Active Deploy to make sure there is no downtime when updating Docker applications, as well as support for Docker using log analytics, performance monitoring, and other IBM life-cycle management tools for IT operations.
Finally, IBM is also adding support for persistent storage, Docker image and vulnerability scanning, and the ability to access a variety of IBM Bluemix services running on the company’s implementation of the open source Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-service environment. IBM will also resell the Docker Trusted Registry, an implementation of Docker Hub that runs on premise.
Angel Diaz, vice president of cloud architecture and technology at IBM, said IBM is providing all the traditional operations tools that IT organizations need to deploy Docker containers on physical servers without having to rely on virtual machine software in between to provide a framework for IT management and security.
“Layering containers on top of virtual machines is like adding more bloat to something that is already pretty bloated,” said Diaz. “The real value comes when you run containers on bare metal servers.”
Diaz said Docker containers not only consume less memory than virtual machines when running on bare metal servers, the utilization rates of those servers is orders of magnitude better, resulting in deployment of fewer servers to support any given application workload.
IBM containers, he added, essentially provide a foundation for what IBM sees as a Cloud 2.0 movement. The first phase of the cloud was primarily about saving money. The second phase is more about enabling developers to more rapidly create applications that add business value in a way that IT operations teams can easily and consistently deploy with a minimal amount of friction.
Ultimately, IBM envisions an IT world where Docker containers can move seamlessly between open heterogeneous cloud computing environments. But before any of that can happen, Diaz said, IT operations teams clearly need to have access to the DevOp tooling required to both manage and secure Docker containers that will soon be running at unprecedented levels of scale across the entire enterprise.