Docker Enterprise Checklist

Ian Miell, @ianmiell

Author, Docker in Practice

docker in practice


  • Background

  • Core challenges

    • Culture, Politics, Technical

  • Build, Ship, Run

  • Tips

Market Research

  • How many here are comfortable with Docker?

  • How many have used an orchestrator

  • Platform like OpenShift or Rancher

  • How many work for company with <1000+, 5000+ 100000+

  • Running Docker in production? Working on it?

  • Kubernetes / Swarm / Mesos(phere)

  • aPaaS


  • Unregulated software house, Docker implemented as skunkworks project

  • 40-700 staff - workarounds for enterprisey behaviours

  • Moved to 120,000 strong company - workarounds fail!

  • Moved from Dev to Infra

  • Blog post:


level of culture DEC
  • All roads lead here

Culture (I) - Your Org

  • History - processes built up around 'machine'

  • Security stance

    • 'When SecOps arrives at the meeting'


Culture (II) - Why?

  • What do you want Docker for?

    • Facilitate DevOps?

    • Max-pack infra?

    • Separate build from run, infra from code?

    • Increase auditability?

    • 'Me too'?

Culture (III) - Vendor

  • Vendor culture

    • 'Two Cultures' - divided by 'who has root'?

      • Docker open, enterprises not

      • 'docker run' anywhere!

    • Ecosystem sprawl


  • Who’s in charge?

Politics (I)

  • Organisational/political challenges

    • 'People who are really serious about software should get serious about people'

      • Who makes decisions?

      • Who has the money?

      • What do they want?

Politics (II)

  • Organisational decision-making

    • Top-down?

    • Consensus?

  • How is change funded?

  • Business/commercial decisions

    • Strategic or piecemeal approach? Partnership?


docker ecosystem
  • 'How hard can it be?'



The Root Problem

  • Are you ok with users having root?

  • If not, how will you manage this?

  • Auditing (change control, change records, approval)

    • No trust / some trust?

    • Runtime defence


  • Is this experience going to be the same as production? Do you care?

  • If not, how easy is it to on-board with your solution?


  • Do you have a strategic CM tool?

  • How does it play with Docker?

  • Do you want to mandate a CM tool as strategic?


<Insert mandatory image of shipping container here>

Image Scanning (I)

  • Problem: no access to outside world

  • Huge audit/sec/SDLC opportunity to check that images conform to standards

    • Is there a shellshock version of bash on there?

    • Is there an out of date ssl library?

    • Is it based on a fundamentally insecure or unacceptable base image?

Image Scanning (II)

  • Process for ingestion

    • Is there an existing process to leverage?

    • VM analogue?

    • RPM?

Image Scanning (III)

  • Classes of scanner

    • OpenSCAP (package-based)

    • Docker’s (deep scanning)

  • What is your org’s trust model?

    • Drives: what do you want to know?

Image Scanning (IV) - Licensed Software

  • Are you afraid of licensed software?

  • How is your software licensed in a Docker world? Potential CPUs 'touched'?

    • Vendor readiness

  • How would you cope with an audit?


  • Coherence with other artifact stores

  • Signing model

  • Promotion model

  • RBAC / Authentication

  • Disk space



Audit and Control (I)

  • Audit

    • Who owns that container?

    • What is that container doing?

    • Which containers have shellshock?

Audit and Control (II)

  • Change Management

    • Containers change a lot - where is change control required?

  • Forensics

    • What did that container do?

    • What could that container do?

Audit and Control (III)

  • Monitoring

    • Does your monitoring solution have a concept of containers?

  • Secret Management


  • How do you you manage patches?

    • Cadence

    • Process

    • Timeframe

  • Who owns which layer?

  • How do you identify which images need updating?


  • Do you want to mandate a base image?

  • What do you want in your base image?

    • 'No "ps"!?'


  • Is your OS up to date?

  • Docker versions and vendor software


  • SDNs - do you already have a solution?

  • Performance impact

Cloud Providers

  • How do you plan to deliver images and run containers on your cloud provider?

  • Do you want to tie yourself into their Docker solutions, or make your usage cloud-agnostic?

Who? Training

  • Are people trained to build and manage containers?



Tips (I)

  • Build coalitions of interest

    • Working groups

  • Engage parties early

  • Don’t focus on those already sold on the tech/devops

  • Start small

  • Consider using an aPaaS to manage these

Tips (II)

  • Reverse engineer the culture

    • Figure out how things get done, don’t fight it

    • Re-use existing processes where possible

    • Build internal map of the organisation

Tips (III)

  • Teach

  • Don’t hate the player, hate the game

  • Docker enterprise anti-patterns

    • Build prototype outside org (Rackspace, AWS)

    • Doing devops in isolation/business unit-specific projects

Last Words

  • Don’t beat yourself up

  • Have faith

  • We’re hiring


  • Twit: @ianmiell

  • GitHub: ianmiell / docker-in-practice

  • Blog: zwischenzugs

  • LinkedIn: Ian Miell