One of the fastest growing trends in IT is the adoption of Linux containers. Performant, scalable and highly portable, containers deliver unprecedented agility and allow IT organizations to embrace microservices architecture. While popular with developers in test environments, most enterprises haven’t yet placed containers into production—and for good reason.
Similar to when virtualization was introduced to the market, the technology holds great promise but many supporting solutions and services haven’t evolved to a state that enterprises can trust in production environments. As virtualization vendors began to understand the deployment and operational needs of their customers (not just the capabilities of their technology), they advanced their technology to address the entire lifecycle needs. Containers are in similar position.
Adopting container technology isn’t a matter of "if’", it’s a matter of “when”. But IT organizations should only move forward with container solutions when they meet six requirements critical for the enterprise.
Support for cloud native and legacy workloads
Containers may be the future, but the majority of the applications that power today’s enterprises are legacy. Platforms that can only run cloud native workloads bring limited value today. Look for solutions that work with your existing applications, protect current IT investments and play a role in your application modernization efforts.
Secure by default
One of the biggest concerns around container technology is security. Instead of an application running across a few servers or dozens of VMS, containerized workloads may span hundreds or even thousands of containers. This increases surface areas for attack and introduces new isolation concerns. Most platforms start open and implement policies and security measures to “close open doors”. This model can create a security nightmare for business-critical applications. A better approach is to use a deny-all system that starts closed and only functions as permitted by policy.
Networking and isolation at the container level
The number of containers enterprises will run will be exponentially larger than the number of VMs and servers. It is critical that isolation, routing, firewalls and other best practices be applied directly to the container to ensure performance and security. Yes, the containers you run in your datacenter and in the cloud need protection from the outside world, but they also need protection from each other within your infrastructure environments.
True hybrid support
Containers are designed for portability as they are unopinionated about their host and infrastructure. Many container vendors tout “hybrid cloud” support as they can deploy a container in two different environments; however, those environments are siloed. Enterprises demand to deploy containers across environments without breaking dependencies or governance. Treating all your infrastructure as a single cluster gives IT organizations the ability to move from test environments into production in seconds or burst into clouds or other data centers as the business demands.
You need more than a platform that can deploy a containers. Enterprises need robust orchestration, scheduling, storage, logging, health monitoring and auditing controls from a single solution. The more services you need to stitch together to create the ideal container solution, the further away you are from experiencing the value of containers and the more resources you will need to invest in maintaining the solution.
Time to value is the game. Enterprises demand a solution that can be implemented quickly and enable their developer and IT teams immediately. IT organizations can’t afford to use a system that is opinionated about what tools your teams use, what applications they run or what infrastructure they run on. Select a container management platform that creates productivity, not disruption.
The Apcera Platform was architected with these six principles in mind. Our goal is to bridge the gap between where our customers are today and where they are going in the future. With our emphasis on all your applications (cloud native and legacy), security and enterprise-grade functionality, Apcera delivers to meet the demands of IT organizations. Learn more about how Apcera can help drive innovation at your company by visiting www.apcera.com.