It’s here, Docker Enterprise 3.0 – Build Ship Share Run

It’s here, Docker Enterprise 3.0 – Build Ship Share Run

DockerCon US 2019 has come and gone for another year! But despair not fellow Docker fans, Docker has left us with a meaty and fairly comprehensive list of announcements for us to chomp on, until DockerCon EU at least, if it decides to go ahead…

Now, before we start imagining a world without DockerCon EU, let us work our way through some of the notable key announcements from this year in San Francisco!

For anyone who has been living under a rock or drinking far too much open source Kool-Aid, Docker Enterprise is an end-to-end container-as-a-service (CaaS) platfor. Since its launch in 2017, it has been a one stop shop for public, private or hybrid cloud container management for both Linux and Windows.

At DockerCon 2019, Docker Inc released the next major iteration of the public beta: Docker Enterprise 3.0! Part of this release was the following three areas of note, namely Docker Desktop Enterprise, Docker Apps + CNAB and DKS. Let’s take a look at these in more detail:

Docker Desktop Enterprise

As the name suggests, Docker Desktop Enterprise (DDE) is a new developer tool that extends the Docker Enterprise Platform to developers’ desktops. Not only does this improve developer productivity, it accelerates time-to-market for new applications too.

DDE sounds a lot like “Docker for [Mac/Windows] 2.0”. And in some ways it’s a very similar tool, except for some extra enterprise features, more uniformed UI and some much needed yard rails. The addition of DDE will help stabilise adoption and allow unskilled engineers to leverage Docker in their workflow in a more meaningful way.

DDE also provides a secure way to configure, deploy and manage developer environments while enforcing safe development standards that align to corporate policies and practices. IT teams and application architects can present developers with application templates designed specifically for their team, to bootstrap and standardise the development process and provide a consistent environment all the way to production.

Docker Application + CNAB

Docker Applications is a stroke of genius from the product team at Docker. This simple application allows you to create an application for predefined components, adding more guard rails to help accelerate adoption and enable more and more people to use and enjoy Docker!

This is a new set of tooling that enables end-to-end application consistency and scalability from developers to operators. It allows users to manage complex applications as simply as individual containers, with tools to build, push, and deploy multi-container applications as self-contained objects. Tools such as:

Docker Application is based on CNAB – a joint collaboration of Docker, Microsoft, Bitnami, HashiCorp and CodeFresh. Docker Application Templates make sharing and standardisation of applications simpler and more scalable by creating templates for applications and their deployment parameters. In addition to creating and sharing, docker app easily generate Dockerfiles and the associated files for common application frameworks without expert Docker knowledge and enables development to get up to speed faster by letting developers focus on their business logic.

Docker Kubernetes Service (DKS)

This will make Kubernetes easier, more secure, and more accessible to the entire organisation.

DKS is compatible with Kubernetes YAML, Helm charts, and the Docker Compose tool for creating multi-container applications. It also provides an automated way to install and configure Kubernetes applications across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. Other capabilities include security, access control, and lifecycle management. Docker Enterprise customers also can use Docker Swarm to orchestrate Docker containers.

It’s still a little unclear about what DKS is. Whilst it could be the answer to AWS’ EKS or Azure’s AKS, it honestly just sounds like a new and cooler name for Docker EE – as we all should know Docker EE has supported both Swarm and Kubernetes since 2017 and therefore has had a Kubernetes service Out of the Box. If this is true, it seems that Docker is trying to appeal to a wider audience through the descriptions and capabilities of its new tools.

Concluding thoughts

So, that’s it for another year! For more about the DockerCon San Francisco 2019, Docker have written a great wrap up blog, including all the key note live streams videos for you to watch at your leisure. Enjoy!

Morgan AtkinsIt’s here, Docker Enterprise 3.0 – Build Ship Share Run
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Opening the Windows on Kubernetes 1.14

Opening the Windows on Kubernetes 1.14

Those of us who have been working in the DevOps industry for a while will be well versed in the Windows conundrum but for the sake of clarity here is an example of what it is and the problem that it poses. Let’s take a CTO within an enterprise organisation – someone in charge of a complex estate of business applications. This estate might include numerous Linux-based applications or in some cases hundreds of legacy windows-based applications. This CTO is already a containerisation convert and is bought into the benefits of added portability, security and agility, and like many organisations in the industry, he recognises Kubernetes as the standard for container orchestration. However, up until now, container orchestration for Windows applications has been limited – and this limitation has caused conflict between the need to run Windows containers in Productions and the largely agreed best practice approach of using Kubernetes.

To those less embedded in the DevOps world, this might sound like an implementation detail to be overcome by the ‘DevOps engineer’ (usually sat in a darken room), but it has a real impact on the business because of the time, resource and cost involved in solving it. To get the real benefits from a containerisation approach you need to have a unified strategy that works across your entire technology suite. Having to manage different approaches and different processes reduces the beneficial impact. Thankfully the coming together of Docker, Kubernetes and Microsoft has at last provided a solution to the problem with the launch of Kubernetes 1.14 (

Of course, Docker has had a solution to the Windows Containers problem for a while, with a well-established and well-tested security model in the form of Docker Enterprise using Swarm orchestration. However, the rise of Kubernetes (it is increasingly the first choice among container users, with Datadog reporting its use increasing from 22.5 percent in October 2017 to 32.5 percent in October 2018) has meant that Docker had two choices. It could either continue to try and push users towards its own container orchestration solutions or it could take a more collaborative approach and embrace the fact that Kubernetes has become accepted as best of breed in this space. Thankfully for those at the sharp end of implementing containerisation strategies, they seem to have decided on the latter.

You really have to give kudos to Docker for this. It has understood the needs of its community and given it what it needs – a route to a single strategy across both Linux and Windows applications. It also means a big step forward in the move towards serverless environments.

The people who are going to feel the benefits of this most acutely (at least in the short term) are the applications teams. These are the folks at the coal face of implementing a containerisation strategy that is part of a wider IT transformation designed to speed up delivery and reduce complexity. They may also sit below a strategy team who all too often have selective blindness when it comes to looking at the technology stack and seem not to be able to see the Windows elements. It therefore falls to the men and women on the ground to deliver a series of benefits that have been sold in further up the chain based on a view of the application environment that is not entirely accurate.

So, if I am a head of architecture what can I take from the launch of Kubernetes 1.14?

Firstly – if you have been hesitant about moving forward with a containerisation approach because of the complexity of your applications environment, you now have a solution that will work across the entire environment. Not only does it mean a single control plane across different platforms and orchestrations, the UCP GUI (rather than script) means operation is simplified which will increase RUN team use.

Secondly, you can relax in the knowledge that finding yourself the right skillsets to get your containerisation strategy underway is going to be just that little bit easier!

Here’s how ECS Digital can help you use Docker:

There are significant benefits to containerisation, including portability, improved security and increased infrastructure efficiency. ECS Digital is a leading Docker Certified Delivery Partner and can help you use and extend the Docker Container platform.

Docker Modernising Traditional Applications

ECS Digital has the knowledge and experience to bring the benefits of containerisation to your more traditional applications. Working with Docker customers across EMEA, we undertake MTA Modernising Traditional Applications engagements, taking a traditional application into containers to realise the value of Docker in just five days with a turnkey program.

  • 1-week onsite support / 3 weeks remote
  • Deploy Docker EE to cloud or on-prem infrastructure
  • Containerise an existing application
  • End-to-end app deploy using Docker EE
  • App operations using Docker EE

Official Docker Training

As well as Docker Authorised Consulting Partners, ECS Digital is also a Docker Authorised Training Partners offering a range of official Docker training courses for all skills levels.

Enablement PodsTM 

ECS Digital’s Container Enablement PodsTM are an outcome-focused solution that deliver the capability you need, when you need it. Each Enablement PodTM starts with a Sprint Zero in order to establish a backlog of target outcomes with measurable KPIs and the resource.

Our Enablement PodTM approach has been massively successful in delivering large scale digital transformation projects in some of the UKs largest retail and commercial banks, as well as news publishers and international energy providers. Click hereto find out more about how our Enablement PodsTM work.

Here at ECS Digital we’re always happy to talk about how what we do can help benefit you and your business. If you’re interested in finding out how we can help, please do get in touch.

*Kubernetes 1.14 is available for download on GitHub.

Image credit: Photo by Joseph Barrientos on Unsplash

Morgan AtkinsOpening the Windows on Kubernetes 1.14
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