Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Salesforce Invests in Docker, which Partners with MuleSoft 

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In a bid to link legacy but critical applications with agile microservices, cloud software giant Salesforce is taking a stake in application container pioneer Docker, which will collaborate with recently acquired MuleSoft to run microservices on existing infrastructure.

Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), which acquired MuleSoft last spring for $6.5 billion, did not disclose the amount of its stake in Docker. The partners did say the investment would accelerate “cloud migration by modernizing legacy applications and fueling developer innovation in new applications.”

The collaboration announced on Thursday (Nov. 15) would allow existing enterprise applications to be upgraded and “containerized” on MuleSoft’s application network. Upgrades and new enterprise applications and other microservices would be delivered via Docker containers. The combination is designed to increase reuse of legacy apps while creating new, more agile services based on containers.

San Francisco-based MuleSoft said the combination of its API-based approach with Docker’s container platform would enable users to upgrade existing applications that frequently are used to manage mission-critical data and business processes. “We’re making it easier for our customers to leverage their existing infrastructure investments as well as take advantage of new technologies in an application network,” said MuleSoft CEO Greg Schott.

That means legacy applications with APIs could be integrated with Docker containers and then plugged into an existing MuleSoft application network.

The partners also said Docker would provide automation tools and other resources for legacy applications without APIs. Those resources would enable developers to upgrade legacy applications by delivering them via Docker containers.

The third leg of the collaboration would allow developers to create new applications with Docker components that would be accessible on MuleSoft’s “Anypoint” hybrid integration platform. As those container-based applications are deployed on an application network, the partners said developers would be able to reuse components and accelerate tasks like upgrading distributed applications.

Meanwhile, the Salesforce stake in Docker is the latest by its investment arm, which has focused on enterprise cloud startups, including more than 280 startups over the last decade.

Docker has lately been losing ground to competing cloud-native tools such as the de facto standard Kubernetes cluster orchestrator. For example, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation reported this week that adoption of Docker Swarm, its container management tool, continues to trail Kubernetes in the red-hot Asian cloud market.


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).