How Partners Can Test Docker on Mac OS, Windows

During a recent channel partner conference, I told attendees about DockerCon 2016 -- a major technology conference focused on container technologies. A successful business leader in the room asked me, "How do you spell Docker?"

That pretty much sums up the IT channel's initial knowledge -- and early reaction -- to Docker, one of the fastest-growing technology platforms in the world. Generally speaking, Docker is a software container technology that allows developers and channel partners to more easily package up and ship programs from one server to another -- both on-premises and in the cloud.

Docker's popularity is skyrocketing. Indeed, Docker adoption more than doubled to 27 percent vs 13 percent in 2015 with an additional 35 percent having plans to use Docker, according to Aware of the upward trend, most of the major cloud service providers now support containers in some form. Examples include Amazon EC2 Container Service, Microsoft Azure Container Service and Google Container Engine.

Mac, Windows and Docker Channel Partners

Roger Egan Roger Egan

Within the IT channel, Docker has a fast-growing partner program led by former Red Hat Channel Chief Roger Egan. He's a sharp guy, but I suspect most channel partners -- the ones that grew up supporting Windows Server on-premises -- have yet to kick Docker's tires. To some of those folks, the thought of setting up a Docker test account on Amazon, Microsoft or Google's cloud may seem a bit foreign.

But here again, Docker is opening its arms wider to channel partners and developers. The company just launched a beta release of Docker for Mac and Docker for Windows. As a native Mac and Windows app, Docker can now be installed, launched and utilized from a system toolbar just like any other packaged application available in native App Stores, Docker says.

Admittedly, this is mostly a software developer conversation. But channel partners that want to jump into DevOps or software development need to understand Docker's growing role in the IT world. Docker for Mac and Docker for Windows can help that process.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.