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Docker Management on Amazon AWS Cloud: Partners Move In

So, you’re finally monitoring and managing customer cloud workloads on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Alas, there’s no time to rest on your laurels. The next wave — Docker-centric migrations and container management on AWS — is starting to attract certified partners.

Scorecard 2ndWatchIndeed, 2nd Watch — an Amazon-centric MSP —  is now an Authorized Consulting Partner (ACP) for Docker. Through the partnership, 2nd Watch will “continue helping enterprise customers to quickly port applications to Amazon Web Services (AWS), manage them, and get support from Docker by using Docker’s Enterprise Subscriptions,” according to a company statement released today.

Translation: Docker management on Amazon AWS cloud could be nearing a tipping point. Generally speaking, Docker containers allow software developers to ship and activate applications more rapidly. Those deployments can occur anywhere — on-premises, in third-party data centers, in public clouds and so on.  2nd Watch was one of Amazon’s first AWS Premier partners. The company says its clientele includes Adobe, Conde Nast, Diane von Furstenberg, Lenovo and Yamaha.

Docker sounds upbeat about the 2nd Watch relationship. “Our customers are using Docker at the core of their application migrations, application modernization and DevOps initiatives, so it makes sense for us to partner with a leading AWS migration and managed services firm like 2nd Watch,” said Alan Geary, senior director of channel and alliance sales at docker.

Seeking to distance itself from classic VARs and MSPs, 2nd Watch positions itself as a “new breed of partner which helps enterprises design, deploy and manage cloud solutions and monitors business critical workloads 24×7.” So far, the company has more than 400 enterprise workloads under management and more than 75,000 instances in its managed public cloud.

Amazon, Docker and the Channel

Amazon’s channel partner ambitions began to emerge at the first AWS re:invent conference in November 2012. More than 5,000 people — including me — attended that conference. I spotted only a few channel veterans at that 2012 show — including Avnet VP Tim Fitzgerald and Gary Read, formerly CEO of Nimsoft (which CA Technologies acquired).

Fast forward three years, and AWS re:invent 2015 (Oct. 6-9, Las Vegas) will be packed with traditional channel partners and a new generation of firms. Generally speaking, MSPs increasingly know how to monitor and manage workloads in Amazon’s cloud. But Docker management remains an earlier-stage opportunity.

Docker began to formalize its partner program in January 2014, when Docker hired former Red Hat Channel Chief Roger Egan and named him senior VP of sales and channels. Fast forward one year, and Docker in January 2015 hired Alan Geary as senior director of channel and alliance sales.

Next-generation channel partners like 2nd Watch are early to the Docker-Amazon channel wave. But more MSPs and total service providers (TSPs) are on the way. “We don’t offer any application development or DevOps services yet,” says the VP from one leading cloud-centric channel company. “We know that we will need to start as Infrastructure becomes code.  We’ll likely do that via acquisition.” That source, by the way, is heading to Amazon re:invent 2015 to scout the market…

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