Docker Accelerates App Migration to Containers With IBM Partnership

At the DockerCon EU conference, the container vendor outlines successes and launches a new partnership with IBM to help organizations move from legacy architectures to the microservices future.

IBM MTA DockerCon EU

COPENHAGEN, Denmark—At the DockerCon EU conference here on Oct. 18 Docker Inc. outlined multiple successes it has had with its Modernize Traditional Applications (MTA) program that was first announced at the DockerCon 17 conference in Austin, Texas, in April.

The MTA program is a bundle of Docker products and services from partners that at launch included Avanade, Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Microsoft. At DockerCon EU, IBM announced that it too is joining the MTA program.

"We have found that successful modernization journeys start with existing skills, infrastructure, processes and applications, then figuring out how to apply those existing things to new technologies to solve problems for your business," Docker Chief Operating Officer Scott Johnston said during a keynote address.

With the MTA program's initial rollout, Docker and its partners targeted both .Net and legacy Java applications for modernization. The modernization is about removing the need for hardware dependencies and transitioning to a virtualized Docker container model that enables improved management, deployment agility, security and cost efficiency.

To date, Johnston said Docker and its MTA partners have been able to successfully modernize 100 percent of the .Net and Java applications they have been tasked with transforming. Among the successes cited by Johnston was a 12-year-old .Net application managed by a U.S. state government that was modernized and put into Docker Enterprise Edition (EE) and then deployed to Microsoft Azure without changing a single line of source code.

Another MTA success story was detailed by Markus Niskanen, system architect at Finnish Railways. Niskanen said his organization was able to save an average of 50 percent on each of the apps that is has moved to a container model through the MTA program, with the help of Accenture.

"After 150 years in the transportation business, we have deployed quite a few containers even before Docker," Niskanen said.

While 150 years ago the containers that Finnish Railways shipped were physical containers, the containers it now deploys are software constructs that provide multiple business benefits. Niskanen said Docker containers provide a unified architecture and new visibility into applications.


Jason McGee, vice president and CTO for IBM’s cloud platform, went on stage at DockerCon EU to announce that IBM has joined the Docker MTA program. McGee also announced that multiple IBM enterprise applications, including WebSphere and DB2, are now available in the Docker Store for container applications. In addition, Docker EE is now being enabled to run in a seamless way on the IBM Cloud.

"With this partnership, we can help you easily and quickly understand the value of modernizing your applications," McGee said.

While the Docker MTA program has had success to date, Johnston concluded his keynote by noting that there is more to come as the effort will expand with more partners and capabilities in the future.

"Where does MTA go from here? We want to go to C/C++ and even older COBOL applications," Johnston said. "Any application, any infrastructure, all on one platform."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.