Docker brings containers to mainframes

Docker announced the first major update to its flagship Docker Enterprise Edition 17.06, with a clear eye to on-premises data centers and DevOps. 

Docker rolled out the rebranded Docker EE in March, based on what was previously known as the Docker Commercially Supported and Docker Datacenter products. With that launch, Docker added the ability to port legacy apps to containers without having to modify the code.

The major new feature of this update — which seems to borrow from Microsoft’s year/month naming convention for Windows 10 updates — is support for IBM z Systems mainframes running Linux. Now containerized apps can be run on a mainframe, with all of the scale and uptime reliability it brings, and they run with no modifications necessary.

Docker Enterprise security updates

There are other changes to the 17.06 update as well. It security console, called Universal Control Pane, has been updated to version 2.2 and features customization of role-based access control (RBAC) and for defining the boundaries of different users and teams in the same Docker EE environment. This allows multiple groups to work on the same mainframe infrastructure but not interfere or conflict with each other because they are essentially walled off. Docker calls this “bring your own node” because a team can bring its own nodes to the development cluster, and IT can make sure they stay within their cluster.

Another security update, this time to Docker Trusted Registry 2.3, allows for container image management to be automated, which removes the potential for human error during the deployment stage. Also, support for immutable repositories means image tags won’t be overridden when they have been promoted from development to production. Image tags are the descriptors used to identify content used in a container, and they are often shared among containers during development and testing. 

More venture funding for Docker 

In addition to the new product, Docker is in the process of raising another $75 million in venture funding, which could push the company’s valuation to $1.3 billion. That’s a mighty big valuation for a company that Fortune estimates had 2016 annual revenue of $10 million, although Docker said it does better than that. 

Either way, that’s some mighty big expectations for such a small company and under pressure from competitors like Kubernetes.  

Docker EE 17.06 is available this week in four editions: the free, open-source Community Edition, and three paid Enterprise Editions: Basic, Standard and Advanced.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.


Leave a Reply