Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Thursday, March 23, 2023

Oracle Embraces Containers to Speed Cloud Apps 

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Oracle's databases and developer tools can now be pulled as images from a Docker container registry as the partners look to speed development of cloud-native database applications.

Oracle becomes the latest enterprise IT vendor to jump on the Docker container bandwagon as it seeks to expand its reach in the public cloud market. Among the container-based application, middleware and development tools made available on the container platform are Oracle's MySQL database and its WebLogic server. Those tools are in addition to the more than 100 images of Oracle products already available on Docker Hub, its cloud-based image registry.

Separately, Docker said Wednesday (April 19) it is partnering with Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO), Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) to speed deployment of secure applications as micro-services in the cloud or on-premises.

The partnerships reinforce Docker's assertion that container advances are extending to "more mainstream deployments" ranging from computing, servers and, now, databases and related development tools. Earlier this week, Docker unveiled what it described as a "lego set" of standard container components and frameworks called the Moby Project. "Essentially anything that can be containerized can be a Moby component, providing a great opportunity for collaboration with other projects outside of Docker," noted Solomon Hykes, company founder and CTO.

Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), which launched a major cloud push last year, is betting harried applications developers will turn to application containers to accelerate delivery of secure enterprise workloads to production. In February, Oracle rolled out a data integrator cloud service designed to accelerate support for real-time analytics across enterprises.

The extended partnership with Docker helps bring "bedrock software" to enterprise application developers via a maturing container infrastructure, asserted Mark Cavage, Oracle's vice president of software development. Application containers are "revolutionizing the way developers build and deploy modern applications, but mission-critical systems in the enterprise have been a holdout until now," Cavage added in a statement announcing the partnership.

Oracle said the new container images on the Docker Store could be downloaded now from a public cloud or on-premises servers, and then deployed on virtual machines, bare metal or managed containers.

Meanwhile, Docker announced a separate application modernization effort designed to upgrade legacy applications as more companies shift to micro-services infrastructure. Docker said the service eliminates the need to modify source could or rework application architectures.

The service is based on the enterprise version of Docker along with hybrid cloud infrastructure from partners Cisco, HPE and Microsoft. A fourth partner, Avanade, is a Seattle-based IT consulting firm that works closely with Microsoft.

The program is based on "two realities facing enterprise IT organizations today," Docker COO Scott Johnston noted in a blog post: "Existing applications consume 80 percent of IT budgets, and most IT organizations responsible for existing apps are also tasked with hybrid cloud initiatives."

Application development and deployment on hybrid clouds via Docker received another boost this week when IBM (NYSE: IBM) plans to offer Docker's enterprise version on its Linux-based servers and Power-based systems. IBM claimed its Linux servers could support as many as 1 million Docker containers on a single system while its Power platforms could reduce latency to boost the performance of analytics and other applications running in containers.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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