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IBM Domino and Docker Support Announced

Bill Malchisky  August 15 2017 08:00:00 PM
During Barry Rosen's Future directions on Notes/Domino session and again during our Linuxfest DC session last week at MWLUG, IBM announced that they will support Domino on Docker with Domino 9.0.1 FP10. Originally, this support would be announced in 2018, but due to the success of the IBM Application Insights Survey announced at Engage, IBM changed their task priorities and accelerated Docker support based upon your input.

FP10 is scheduled to be released by EOY 2017. The next question is, "What does support imply?" Currently, if you call IBM and ask them for support and tell them you are running Domino in a Docker container on Linux, you will be told, "That configuration is not supported." Once FP10 is released, you can use Domino on Docker as a valid platform.

Next, I asked Barry about supporting as a deliverable a Docker image file. Thus, "Will be be able to type, 'docker pull domino' and get an image?" He replied that is not part of the original plan, but under consideration.

Finally, as I discussed with a few MWLUG attendees after Linuxfest DC and also during my last session, I want to provide a few points on deploying Domino intelligently inside a docker container
1. Feel free to create your own docker image files locally so you can deploy internally Domino in a Docker container
2. Be certain that you only include the installation files for Domino in the image
3. Avoid installing or completing server setup within your image file or you'll have multiple servers deployed and running with the same server ID and server name
4. Ensure that you also keep confidential or otherwise sensitive information out of your image files -- especially if any Docker image you create should be published to the Docker container catalog

Nice to see that IBM is making great strides to improve what they offer and listen once again to the great IBM Community.

Any questions, please feel free to ask.

Image:IBM Domino and Docker Support Announced Image:IBM Domino and Docker Support Announced

1Stephan H. Wissel  8/16/17 3:40:32 AM  IBM Domino and Docker Support Announced

Mental (or practical) exercise:

Docker installs only files that are missing or diverge from the host OS. What would happen if you take a host that has a complete Domino installation (not just the installer file) and put only the notes.ini and ServerID file into the container. Together with the ip configuration and a persistent volume for the actual data, you should get a rather tiny image.

Would that work?

2Paul Withers  8/16/17 6:42:36 AM  IBM Domino and Docker Support Announced

This is great news. I'm done some experimentation on Domino + Vert.x (following on from Stephan's work). There is great potential here for alternative microservice / web application access to a Domino environment. Unless I'm misinterpreting it, Domino on Docker also sounds like it could more easily be used to deploy black box Domino applications (a similar deployment approach to ApplicationInsights).

3Heiko Voigt  8/16/17 7:11:34 AM  IBM Domino and Docker Support Announced

That is great news ! Along with the finalized Java updates in FP10 this is a huge investment from IBM into the Domino platform. Let's get these news out, a lot of my customers have been waiting for this.

4Eric Mack  8/16/17 12:05:10 PM  IBM Domino and Docker Support Announced

I've wondered if I could deploy Domino on Docker on my Synology DSM NAS for a very low volume legacy application server at home.

Any thoughts? Anyone willing to discuss?

5Richard Moy  8/16/17 2:41:27 PM  IBM Domino and Docker Support Announced


I like how you are thinking.

6Patrick Kwinten  8/17/17 3:27:55 AM  IBM Domino and Docker Support Announced

can anyone tell me how this will affect my application development? from what I am read docker focuses on micro-services so should I rip apart my "application" into several services which are all reside in it's own docker container and let them come together in an "application" container? I am a newbie.

7Harald Gaerttner  8/17/17 7:52:33 AM  IBM Domino and Docker Support Announced

Although Docker support is good news in general it will be interesting to see how this is done.

Just dockerize a Domino installation isn't the real value for using docker.

It would be much more interesting to split Domino up in smaller Containers and then re-connect them via Kubernetes like they do with Connections (Pink).

@Stephan: Isn't it the other way round? A docker Container should only contain data that is replaceable. So by discarding and recreating the Container all should be functioning without Admin interference.

Therefore data like the Server.id or the notes.ini should be part of the persistent volume!

8Harald Gaerttner  8/17/17 8:12:46 AM  IBM Domino and Docker Support Announced

Just to expand the thought a little more:

Best scenario would be to have container for every Domino task we have right now.

Like: http, smtp, agmgr, replicator etc.

That would allow to scale a Domino Environment according to it's needs.

So for example just automatically create a few more agmgr container when there is heavy load on that task and discard them when not needed anymore.

I don't think that this scenario will be part of FP10 ... but that would be the way to best use the advantages of a docker environment.

9Paul Withers  8/24/17 7:38:31 AM  IBM Domino and Docker Support Announced

@Patrick The main benefit of Docker is reproducability. So docker image with base server id and notes.ini allows starting up e.g. a new standalone dev server very quickly. Or starting up a copy of a given server much more quickly, pointing to a copy of the data, to test impacts / benefits of new releases or develop against different releases.

As Harald says, a container for each task or a different container for alternatives to specific options (e.g. Vertx for HTTP) would also be a use case.

Another use case would be different containers for different environments or settings, particularly relevant if you support multiple customers. You can then just start up customer A and when finished start up customer B etc.

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