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How InterSystems Builds an Enterprise Database at Scale with Docker Enterprise

Staff - January 17, 2020

We sat down recently with InterSystems, our partner and customer, to talk about how they deliver an enterprise database at scale to their customers. InterSystems’s software powers mission-critical applications at hospitals, banks, government agencies and other organizations.

We spoke with Joe Carroll, Product Specialist, and Todd Winey, Director of Partner Programs at InterSystems about how containerization and Docker are helping transform their business.

Here’s what they told us. You can also catch the highlights in this 2 minute video:

[youtubevideo url=""]

On InterSystems and Enterprise Databases…

Joe Carroll: InterSystems is a 41 year old database and data platform company. We’ve been in data storage for a very long time and our customers tend to be traditional enterprises — healthcare, finance, shipping and logistics as well as government agencies. Anywhere that there’s mission critical data we tend to be around. Our customers have really important systems that impact people’s lives, and the mission critical nature of that data characterizes who our customers are and who we are.

On Digital Transformation in Established Industries…

Todd Winey: Many of those organizations and industries have been traditionally seen as laggards in terms of their technology adoption in the past, so the speed with which they’re moving to digital transformation is a key theme for everyone involved. Our customers are really seeing the benefits of being able to adopt technology faster and with a higher degree of confidence.

Our goal is to support them on that journey with our software. To do that, we’ve had to transform our business at InterSystems.

Why Docker…

Todd: From a software delivery standpoint, Docker has provided some truly amazing capabilities. Quality development was probably one of the biggest bottlenecks we faced, along with creating the processes we needed to ensure good quality software was going out the door.

And so rather than solve it by trying to throw more people at the problem, Docker’s platform allows us to do a lot of automation in that process so that we’re getting orders of magnitude improvements without additional staff.

On Scaling Software Testing for an Enterprise Database…

Joe: The InterSystems IRIS platform is the latest iteration of our database platform, and is built container and cloud first. We modernized the database with Docker Enterprise is our database software.

The scalability the Docker Enterprise gives us in terms of our testing infrastructure allows us to go from what was before a tens of tests a day to thousands of tests every night, to eventually tens of thousands of tests every night. We’re able to provide higher quality of software four our customers because of this testing infrastructure.

We’re able to test at scale, and do that quickly without sacrificing quality. And when we kick off our testing suite we can be confident the software will run on whatever cloud provider we need, so we can ensure portability of our application.

On How Docker has Helped…

Todd: Adopting Docker Enterprise really provided three key benefits. We’re getting quarterly releases out the door whereas before we’re we’re looking at maybe one major release, and really starting to push the envelope on continuous delivery. So our customers who are ready to take software with a new build on a daily basis, we can meet those demands.

Staffing of the software quality development process is much easier. We’re able to do more with less, which is what every business wants and what every business wants out a digital transformation.

We’ve always delivered our software across a large number of operating systems. Docker allows us to treat cloud as one more operating system, so we can provide flexibility to our customers to run our software confidently where they want.

The Future for InterSystems…

InterSystems expects to continue improving its software release cycle, delivering software updates daily to its enterprise database.

To learn more about InterSystems and how Docker helps enterprises build better software:
This post was originally published on September 12, 2019 on the Docker blog.

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