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Bluemix Launches Docker-based IBM Containers Service Beta

| by Daniel Bryant Follow 140 Followers on Dec 11, 2014. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

IBM's new IBM Containers service lets developers launch Docker containers directly onto the IBM Cloud with Docker-native features and standardised interfaces, including the new Docker orchestration services.

The new service, still in beta, will be delivered as part of Bluemix, IBM’s Cloud Foundry-based PaaS offering, and provides private tenant networking between Docker containers, integration with other services in the Bluemix ecosystem, and support for attaching public IP addresses to containers to provide exposure on the Internet.

Brian Martin, a distinguished engineer working with IBM Bluemix, states that this is the first step in Bluemix’s adoption of Docker technology, and that the primary goal is to enable customers to focus on developing business services rather than managing the underlying infrastructure.

IBM Containers will enable Docker hosting at any scale without the need to deploy and manage Virtual Machines (VMs), configure load-balancers and firewalls, nor manually configure the Docker engine. Martin stated that IBM Containers will allow locally created Docker images to be shipped to the IBM Cloud for execution and integration with existing Bluemix services or stored in a hosted IBM Containers private Docker image registry, allowing storage and sharing of images within an organisation’s boundaries.

The IBM Containers service will enable enterprises to launch Docker containers directly onto the IBM Cloud on bare metal servers from SoftLayer, an IBM company providing managed hosting and Cloud computing. Martin also speculated that the emergence of services such as IBM Containers combined with the portability of Docker images may facilitate the creation of hybrid Cloud solutions, where containers can easily be moved between the public Cloud, dedicated solutions and on-premise hardware.

Martin stated that the current focus of Docker deployments today typically revolves around deploying single container Docker images, but he argues that for the ecosystem to evolve patterns or sets of container images that work together to accomplish a task must be found. Once found, these patterns could be deployed onto IBM Containers as a whole unit, or onto a cluster or set of clusters that work together, which will enable the testing of Docker-based applications in the Cloud at any required scale

IBM also announced a strategic partnership with Docker Inc. at DockerCon Europe, which will allow IBM to sell integrated solutions that include Docker Hub Enterprise (DHE), a product that extends the capabilities of Docker Hub and brings workflow capabilities for developers and sysadmins managing application lifecycles behind an enterprise firewall. 

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