IBM climbs on the Docker bandwagon

IBM will offer an enterprise-hosted service for running Docker containers

Docker fever continues to spread across the enterprise IT landscape. Following similar moves by Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google, IBM is equipping its enterprise cloud services to run the Docker virtualization containers.

Delivered as part of its Bluemix platform services, the IBM Containers service is currently in beta and will allow users to launch and run Docker containers on the IBM Cloud.

The service will support all of Docker's native features as well as Docker's new orchestration services, which administrators could use to stage and manage complex Docker-based workloads.

IBM also has forged a partnership with Docker, the company managing the open source virtualization software, to further develop Docker Hub Enterprise. That's Docker's management software that can be used either in the cloud or on-site in a private cloud deployment.

Docker containers can be used to package applications so they can be easily moved across different servers. Introduced last year, the technology has proven an immense success; it has thus far been downloaded over 50 million times, according to Docker, the company.

Cloud providers have been particularly eager to support the technology, offering management tools to help customers better use Docker in their hosted environments. Last month, Amazon set up a container management service for running Docker on Amazon Web Services. Google has released as open source its Kubernetes software, also designed for managing containers.

Microsoft has partnered with Docker to create a version of the container technology to run on Windows, and supports the technology on its Azure cloud service as well.

Smaller cloud providers such as Digital Ocean and Joyent also ardently support the technology in their own services.

The IBM Containers service will initially be made available as a beta for testing; IBM did not announce pricing or when the full commercial service would be available.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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