IBM Joins Docker's Legacy App Modernization Program


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Docker added IBM Wednesday to a roster of heavyweight partners participating in an innovative program driving enterprise adoption of containers for upgrading legacy applications.  

Big Blue's services division will join Docker's Modernize Traditional Applications (MTA) program, introduced at DockerCon in April, to deliver proof-of-concept implementations using Docker Enterprise Edition for application management and IBM's hybrid cloud infrastructure. Customers can also infuse artificial intelligence through IBM's Watson platform to their newly containerized applications, Docker COO Scott Johnston told CRN.

The two companies, whose collaboration has run deep in recent years, also made public at the DockerCon Europe conference in Copenhagen, Denmark a joint offering: Docker Enterprise Edition on IBM Cloud.

[Related: Docker Delivers Kubernetes On Its Enterprise Platform]

Current MTA partners, including the Microsoft and Accenture alliance Avanade, Cisco, and HPE, are already engaging potential customers through the MTA program, as are a handful of regional implementation partners.

Big Blue is "bringing to the table their own services arm, and IBM cloud as target infrastructure, and IBM Watson as a new service to augment the applications capabilities," Johnston said.

The MTA program was born out of a realization that early Docker adoption was mostly coming from developers of greenfield apps – cloud-native software built from scratch using microservices architectures. But most of the enterprise spend was still pouring into updating legacy applications.

Docker saw an opportunity, Johnston said, in delivering value to those teams by cutting infrastructure costs and improving their agility, portability and security. By using Docker's platform, those enterprises could modernize applications without having to retrain staff, or "blow up source code," he said.

MTA starts with a 30-day engagement. The consultant is typically on site the first five days, working with the customer to modernize a single application.

The process involves containerizing, scanning, digitally signing apps and then putting them under the management of Docker Enterprise Edition on modern infrastructure, he said.

"We've never failed at successfully modernizing these applications in that five-day time frame," Johnston said. And most modernized apps reduce the total cost of ownership by 50 percent, which often prompts organizations to go secure additional funding to support projects for new applications.

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