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

October 18, 2017 Off By Hoofer
Article Written by David Marshall

At DockerCon EU in Copenhagen, IBM announced that it is expanding its 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.

The partnership is focused on three big takeaways:

  • Docker 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 IBM 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.

The new aspects of the partnership between IBM and Docker enables customers to use Docker containers to more quickly move their existing applications to the cloud.  They can then easily extend them using IBM Cloud services to help them innovate faster, build more intelligent solutions and compete.

Docker for IBM Cloud

IBM’s ongoing focus and ultimate mission is to help organizations more easily migrate their current data and workloads to the public cloud.  Earlier this year, they announced Docker Enterprise Edition (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 IBM enterprise servers, which can support up to one million Docker containers on a single system.

The two companies are also announcing Docker EE for IBM Cloud, which enables customers to use the Docker platform to containerize their existing workloads and run them in a hybrid cloud environment. Watson AI capabilities, delivered over IBM Cloud, run on Docker technology, provide enterprises with the means to take their monolithic applications and make them smarter, without having to change the original application. 

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.

Joining the Docker Modernize Traditional Apps program

There’s another layer to the 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.

"Through Docker EE for IBM Cloud and Docker’s MTA Program, the two companies are making it easier than ever for clients to modernize their existing applications," said Jason McGee, VP, IBM Cloud Platform. "Today’s announcement from IBM and Docker is another big step forward in our long-standing partnership to further fuel public cloud adoption with containers."  

IBM has worked with hundreds of companies across nearly every industry over the years through its Global Business and Technology Services teams, so they 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, they can make it easier for both 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 IBM is announcing that they are publishing key IBM software as Certified Containers 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

IBM and Docker’s deep collaboration allows them 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.


About the Author

David Marshall is an industry recognized virtualization and cloud computing expert, a seven time recipient of the VMware vExpert distinction, and has been heavily involved in the industry for the past 17 years.  To help solve industry challenges, he co-founded and helped start several successful virtualization software companies such as ProTier, Surgient, Hyper9 and Vertiscale. He also spent a few years transforming desktop virtualization while at Virtual Bridges.

David is also a co-author of two very popular server virtualization books: "Advanced Server Virtualization: VMware and Microsoft Platforms in the Virtual Data Center" and "VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center" and the Technical Editor on Wiley’s "Virtualization for Dummies" and "VMware VI3 for Dummies" books.  David also authored countless articles for a number of well known technical magazines, including: InfoWorld, Virtual-Strategy and TechTarget.  In 2004, he founded the oldest independent virtualization and cloud computing news site,, which he still operates today.

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