Illumina Uses Docker to Create a App Marketplace for Genomics


Illumina is a leading provider of DNS sequencing and array technologies. They provide sequencing hardware for the world’s leading scientists and researchers so they can learn more about DNA.


The company uses a tool called Bayspace to take sequencing data from Ilumina intruments and place it into the cloud to quickly analyze it and provide results to scientists. A big piece of this is the ability for developers to contribute new applications into the tool. The issue was that it was very complicated when it came to allowing developers to set up applications, as their target market was familiar with writing command line tools, not web services.The company first looked to use Amazon virtual machines. But the platform specific piece and time it took to take an application from build to production was too long.


During a Python conference they heard about the Docker platform. They played with the tool, and by leveraging Docker they got their applications up and running within days, instead of weeks. This was the decidinig factor to official shift to Docker. The ability to easily add new features to their platform and inject customer file systems into containers made it extremely convenient for their developers to get their work done. Using Docker the company was able to create a robust application store that developers can use to analyze their data.

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  • “Previously it took developers weeks to months to develop applications, now it only takes a day, or a couple of days. We’ve been able to actually streamline the process and have conferences where we show developers in one day how to create an application and to have an application running by the end of that day.”

    Mayank Tyagi, Senior Application Support Engineer, Illumina