Docker Datacenter Lands on Microsoft's Cloud

The Docker container and cluster management and orchestration platform is now available on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

DockerCon 2015

Docker Datacenter, the containers-as-a-service (CaaS) enabling management and orchestration software for the open-source Docker application container platform, is now available on Microsoft's cloud computing platform via Azure Marketplace. The announcement was made June 21, during the last day of DockerCon 16 conference in Seattle, a stone's throw from Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., headquarters.

As Docker container use has grown, so has the event's profile among developers, IT professionals and industry watchers. Other DockerCon 16 highlights included the integration of container orchestration technology directly into Docker Engine 1.12 and new Internet of things (IoT) development tools for IBM's OpenWhisk serverless computing platform, which uses Docker.

Containers are also taking over Microsoft's cloud, Mark Russinovich, CTO of Microsoft Azure, said in a June 21 blog post. During the first few months of 2016, there has been a 4X increase in customers using containers, he reported. A quarter of the company's enterprise cloud container users hail from Fortune 500 companies, including major retailers, financial services firms and manufacturers.

Apart from Docker, open-source software is having a major impact on how Microsoft operates its cloud. Russinovich noted that within a year, the number of Linux virtual machines on Azure rose from a quarter to a third.

For Microsoft Azure customers, the addition of Docker Datacenter to the Azure Marketplace brings "container management and deployment services to enterprises with a production-ready platform supported by Docker and hosted locally behind the firewall," stated Russinovich. "Deployment from the Azure Marketplace using predefined ARM (Azure Resource Manager) templates simplifies and reduces the time to stand up Docker Datacenter and get productive."

Apart from managing containers in Microsoft's public cloud, customers can use Docker Datacenter in hybrid cloud deployments and Azure Stack-powered private clouds, said Russinovich. Inspired by the software giant's own hyperscale Azure cloud computing platform, Azure Stack essentially enables customers to run their own little piece of Microsoft's cloud in their own data centers.

Expanding on the SQL Server on Linux private preview, Microsoft announced that participants can now access an Ubuntu-compatible version as a Docker image. The company anticipates that as enterprises rely more on containers for their production workloads, SQL Server and other business-critical workloads will be required to run in containers to capitalize on their inherent portability and other agility-enhancing attributes.

It's no mystery why Microsoft and other major technology companies are jumping on the Docker bandwagon. Docker container adoption is undeniably on the rise in the enterprise.

A recent study from container storage specialist ClusterHQ found that 79 percent of organizations are running containers. Surprisingly, 76 percent of those polled for the report said they are using containers in production, compared to just 38 percent in 2015.

In an analysis of container use on Datadog's cloud monitoring platform, the company found that 25 percent of organizations running Docker simultaneously run an average of 10 or more containers. Among its customers, 10.7 percent are currently using containers, a 30 percent jump from last year.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...