March 24, 2017

Microsoft has unveiled OMS Docker Container monitoring, signaling the company’s interest in delving deeper into the open-source container space.

OMS Docker Container monitoring, which Microsoft announced during LinuxCon, is part of the company’s Operations Management Suite (OMS) series of tools. The OMS suite delivers log analytics, automation, backup and recovery features.

The extension of the OMS suite to support Docker containers means users now can track container performance across a cluster from a centralized location. According to Wim Coekaerts, who heads Enterprise Open Source at Microsoft, OMS Docker Container monitoring is designed to help solve the challenge of monitoring multiple containerized apps that are spread throughout the infrastructure.

“By nature, containers are lightweight and easily provisioned, so without a centralized approach to monitoring, customers may find it difficult to manage and respond to critical issues quickly,” Coekaerts said. “With OMS Docker Container monitoring, you get visibility into your container inventory, performance and logs from one place, get a simplified view of containers’ usage, and can diagnose issues whether your containers are running in the cloud or on-premises.”

OMS Docker Container monitoring is currently available as a preview. Microsoft has not yet announced when the tool, which the company demonstrated at DockerCon last June, will go into production.

Microsoft and Docker

Microsoft may seem like a strange name to associate with Docker, an open-source platform that runs on Linux. But viewed within the context of its steadily expanding embrace of open source over the past two years, OMS Docker Container monitoring makes sense.

Microsoft has declared its love of Linux, and now officially supports several Linux-based images on the Azure cloud. The company has also open-sourced some of its own frameworks and products, such as .NET.

So, Microsoft’s interest in Docker containers is not actually that remarkable. It’s just another step along Redmond’s steady march toward making itself into a more open company.

Container Adoption

What’s more interesting, perhaps, is that with the release of OMS Docker Container monitoring, Microsoft seems to be betting that containers soon will be an important enterprise technology.

Microsoft is by no means the first large company to make that bet, of course. But it does mean something when a company that has made no previous large investments in the Docker space releases a container monitoring tool. It wants to assure its own relevance as containers continue to rise in importance within the enterprise.

Christopher Tozzi

Christopher Tozzi has covered technology and business news for nearly a decade, specializing in open source, containers, big data, networking and security. He is currently Senior Editor and DevOps Analyst with Fixate.io and Sweetcode.io.