GlaxoSmithKline Accelerates Science Discovery with Docker Enterprise Edition


GlaxoSmithKline is a global pharmaceutical company headquartered in the United Kingdom. Their company mission is “to help people do more, feel better, and live longer”. A challenge in pharmaceutical research is that hundreds of drugs formulations need to be created to take one successfully to market as only 3% of formulated molecules actually become medicine. One way to improve the process is by using big data analytics to mine research data and previous patient trial data to arrive at results more rapidly.


Data science is a new and emerging field with new software tools and open source data analytics solutions coming to market all the time. With each new emerging technology, it can take 3 to 6 months to get these new tools approved for use in a highly-regulated organization like GlaxoSmithKline. The scientists need a faster way to safely test and experiment these new technologies across different hardware platforms and easily share their research amongst each other.


GlaxoSmithKline selected Docker Enterprise Edition for their Edge Node On Demand [ENOD] platform as a way to quickly deliver secure, but isolated environments for researchers to use. These environments come preconfigured with necessary enterprise integrations like authentication through Active Directory, but researchers can also install and work with their preferred software components. The solution provides GlaxoSmithKline these key benefits:
  • Single interface – Standardizing on Docker EE means all the different apps can be treated in a single consistent manner. Further, Ranjith’s team leverages the Docker APIs to consolidate environment information to a single interface for both service requests and tracking application deployments.
  • User isolation – Each researcher has a sandbox for experimentation that is isolated from others. They can break their own experiments without affecting others.
  • Reusability – If a researcher does make a discovery, using Docker EE makes it easy to rebuild and redeploy the same application again and again.
  • Seamless migration – Whether it is moving from a dev environment to production or from one hardware configuration to another, Edge Node on Demand is truly portable across environments for seamless migration.
  • Sharing – Docker EE makes it possible for GlaxoSmithKline to share research and data easily, improving collaboration and accelerating results.