Docker Managed Services for DevOps: Oracle, StackEngine Ready to Assist?

StackEngineWhen it comes to managing and monitoring Docker, a surprise name apparently wants to help channel partners with the effort. Indeed, Oracle has acquired StackEngine — a privately held startup that helps to manage and monitor containers. Among the biggest potential benefactors: MSPs that work closely with Oracle Cloud.

StackEngine “gives a real time understanding of the containers that are running, and how the host is performing, ” StackEngine Co-founder Bob Quillin told Data Center Knowledge while describing the company in 2014.

StakeEngine basically focuses on four key areas of container operations management:

  1. Configuring and managing resource pools — basically aligning DevOps with the resources they need.
  2. Automating the deployment of container-based applications across multiple hosts, clouds and data centers.
  3. Scheduling, orchestrating, and scaling applications.
  4. Managing, troubleshooting and auditing container application activity.

Within each of those four areas, StackEngine also focuses heavily on container security.

Docker Monitoring: It’s Still Early

DockerNo doubt, Docker Monitoring is still an emerging opportunity for MSPs and other types of channel partners. Still, numerous Docker Monitoring and Management Tools have popped up.

StackEngine describes the Dockering Monitoring challenges and opportunities like this:

“Monitoring dynamic container based applications can be a big challenge. Microservice-based architectures are designed to be extremely fluid, with containers that can come and go as individual services are spun up, scaled out or torn down. This creates a problem for monitoring tools that need to keep an up to date global view of the container based application deployments, since they need to know about all the underlying hosts and containers at any point in time.

The goal would be to have our monitoring system of choice have real time awareness of all the hosts and containers active in our environment, through dynamic deployment of necessary monitoring system components, and any updating of underlying configurations required.”

Docker Monitoring: MSPs, Channel Partners Invited?

That sounds promising but it’s still very early in the Docker Monitoring channel game. StackEngine, for instance, did not promote a partner program ahead of the Dec. 18 company sale to Oracle. Moreover, few MSPs have wrapped their arms around potential Docker and DevOps opportunities — though leading edge players like TekLinks and monitoring platform provider LogicMonitor have been studying the market closely.

Still, it’s safe to expect Oracle to roll out some sort of Docker Monitoring capability to channel partners. After all, the StackEngine team will become part of the Oracle Cloud team. And the Oracle Cloud partner program was a major focus at this fall’s Oracle OpenWorld 2015 conference in San Francisco.

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    David H. Deans:

    You said “StackEngine also focuses heavily on container security.”

    Joe, based upon what I’ve read thus far regarding the common ‘container adoption’ roadblocks, it would seem that every major vendor will be introducing some form of container security solution in 2016. That said, I’m wondering if there’s a significant professional services component that’s required for success. Any thoughts on that topic — is it tools or skills that’s the key gating factor?

      Joe Panettieri:

      Hey David,

      I think the biggest “container adoption roadblock” in the IT channel is, simply put, lack of awareness. The vast majority of SMB channel partners haven’t really touched Docker or container management just yet… But we’ll keep banging the drum on ChannelE2E. But to your point, there’s definitely a professional services opportunity here for VARs and MSPs. Interested partners should keep a particularly close eye on DockerCon16 (June 19-21, 2016, Seattle).

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