Alm Brand Improves Operations with Containerized Legacy Applications with Docker Enterprise Edition

Background

Founded in 1792, Alm. Brand is a Danish insurance and banking company headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Alm. Brand team jumped quickly into containers and adopted Docker Enterprise Edition [EE] for new microservices applications in 2016. The success of these first projects gave them the idea to look at their existing application portfolio for other opportunities.

Challenges

Alm. Brand wanted to tackle their existing WebLogic applications which were causing the operations team the biggest headaches. The team operated the WebLogic applications in a large cluster, all running on the same JVM. When an application crashed, it would often crash the entire JVM or hang the entire cluster, making it hard to identify which application was the root cause. The setup was also very brittle and slow as they could only deploy one application at a time to the cluster.

Solution

Today, Alm. Brand has migrated 39 WebLogic applications into containers to go along with almost 50 new greenfield applications running on Docker EE. The impact of this migration has been great for the operations team for a number of reasons:
  • Improved configuration management: One of the more challenging issues Alm. Brand dealt with was uncovering 8 years worth of configuration drift across the different applications. By carefully testing and unboxing the dependencies, they were able to go from 26 different custom virtual machine templates down to 12.
  • Easier maintenance and troubleshooting: Alm. Brand is experiencing far fewer service interruptions because the applications are isolated from one another. Application issues are easier to identify and resolve as a result.
  • Unified operating model for greenfield and legacy applications: Having both types of applications running on the same Docker EE platform allows for centralized logging and metrics collection across the portfolio. Alm. Brand is able to use the same set of processes and a single dashboard for managing all applications.