AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

AWS Quick Start for Docker Datacenter (DDC)

Our goal is to provide businesses with a highly performant and secure cloud platform, along with a mature AWS partner ecosystem of tools and solutions, to make running containers on AWS an optimal experience.

A critical component of offering this level of service to our customers is providing choice. We want our customers to have access to best-of-breed container software that best aligns with their needs. To this end, we’d like to present our latest AWS Quick Start: Docker Datacenter (DDC) on the AWS Cloud. AWS Quick Starts enable customers to rapidly deploy reference implementations of software solutions on AWS in a way that follows best practices from both AWS and the software partner. Together with Docker, we are excited to introduce an AWS Quick Start that delivers a 1-Click® deployment experience for Docker Datacenter on AWS.

What is Docker Datacenter?

Docker Datacenter is an end-to-end platform for agile application development and management, enabling organizations to deploy a CaaS (containers as a service) solution, both on-premises and in the cloud. With the AWS Quick Start: Docker Datacenter, we are providing customers with a tried and tested reference architecture to deploy on AWS.

How to get started with the AWS Quick Start: Docker Datacenter

The AWS Quick Start: Docker Datacenter will spin up the primary components of Docker Datacenter: Docker Universal Control Plane (UCP) and Docker Trusted Registry (DTR) along with commercially supported Docker Engines (CS Engine). As with all AWS Quick Starts, it’s built with an AWS CloudFormation template that you launch into your AWS account. After the stack completes, you can find the links to log in to your UCP and DTR management consoles on the AWS CloudFormation console Outputs tab.

The AWS Quick Start: Docker Datacenter builds an AWS architecture that includes the following:

  • On the networking side, an Amazon VPC spans two Availability Zones with four subnets: two private and two public.
  • The private subnets include Controller clusters for both Universal Control Plane and Docker Trusted Registry. These Controller instances handle the heavy lifting of application management and container orchestration (in the case of UCP) and storing and organizing your container images (in the case of DTR). The Controllers have outbound Internet access via NAT gateways.
  • The public subnets include two ELB load balancers, one per cluster, which allow inbound access to the management console for both clusters. The AWS Quick Start also uses Amazon Route 53 to provide convenient DNS access to the cluster management consoles.

Also residing in the private subnets is the UCP-managed Docker Swarm cluster; these are the actual worker nodes running the commercially supported Docker Engine that run your application containers. By default we start the cluster size at 3, but the starting value is configurable. The Swarm cluster is also in an Auto Scaling group, so the cluster can dynamically grow as load on the cluster instances increases.

When you launch the AWS CloudFormation template into your AWS account, you’ll notice that there are several parameters you’ll need to configure. In the DNS configuration section, you’ll need to provide an already configured Amazon Route 53 hosted zone ID. Take a look at the Amazon Route 53 documentation for instructions on setting up Amazon Route 53.

Below the HostedZone parameter, you’ll be prompted for a fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) for both UCP and DTR. These should be subdomains inside your chosen Route 53 zone, so if your domain is, you might choose and

After you’ve set your DNS configuration, you’ll move onto the Cluster Configuration section of the AWS CloudFormation template. Here you can choose cluster size and instance type—both fairly self-explanatory options. You’ll also need to choose an existing Amazon EC2 SSH key pair.

The final parameter is for the Docker Datacenter license, which is a JSON document you can obtain here: – Docker Datacenter offers a free 30-day trial license. Note that AWS usage fees apply.

Paste the entire contents of the license file into the parameter and you’re off to the races.

The initial release of the AWS CloudFormation template is in its early stages of development, but we are continually working on updates, and we encourage you to launch the template, deploy some containers, and let us how we can make improvements. To get started with the template, please visit the AWS Quick Start page here.

To read more about Docker Datacenter, view the official DDC release post: