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How containers help create the hybrid cloud "RightMix"

EIC_Alliances

Guest Blogger:  Mitchell Feldman 

For many businesses the 'sweet spot' for running the IT estate is a right balance of hybrid IT, running part within its own visual for Feldman blog.jpgresources and part within public cloud. How can containers help with getting this balance or "Right Mix" correct?

Containers

It's probably worth touching on the container landscape. Most of the reports you will find will tell you over 50% of enterprise organisations have some kind of container workload running today and that over 70% will have production workloads by around 2020. What are some of the drivers for this adoption?

Containers are synonymous with creating scalable, decoupled, microservices (buzzword bingo anyone?) systems. This means creating applications that are easily deployed, scaled and upgraded encouraging good development practice and efficiency. Getting your software out faster, cheaper and more reliably. Using Kubernetes to orchestrate the containers enables much of the operational efficiency implied here; self-healing, declarative configuration, standard infrastructure interfaces, easy upgrade and roll back, etc.

In addition to Docker and Kubernetes, Enterprise Container platforms such as Rancher, Docker Enterprise Edition and OpenShift ease integration into Enterprise hybrid environments providing features such as:

Container right mix photo 1.png

 

  • Deployment targets -
     
    Platform looks to standardise the deployment of container clusters. Same deployment mechanism for bare metal, virtual, private and public clouds
     
    Orchestration -
     
    In addition to container orchestration additional functionality to support the orchestration of the platform itself
  •  
    Image/Chart management -
     
     
    Capability for privately hosting trusted registries for images and build charts Operations management -
     
     
    Centralised management of multiple clusters through a single pane of glass
  • Security features -
     
     
    Integration with external identity
  • User experience -
     
     
    Easier cluster management, consistent management tooling
  • Application lifecycle management -
     
     
    Provide additional lifecycle Migration of application between clusters for example
  • API integration -
     
    Increased automation capability through via API

...and of course enterprise support.

With regard to hybrid IT, there are some features of containers and container platforms that are appealing:

Portability

Containers provide a consistent execution environment between the developer client and the development/test/production environments, increasing confidence that developed code runs as expected. The same container characteristics also increase portability between bare metal, virtual, private and public clouds.

Multi cloud

While multi cloud capability seems, on the surface of it, desirable for many businesses it is still only realistic for those with deep pockets with good engineering capability; Especially if we are talking about applications that are live, or that can fast failover between, cloud vendors. Container platforms and orchestrators are bridging the gap however and making this more achievable. The storage layer is currently the big blocker for true portability and it is likely that this barrier will come down as container native storage solutions such as PortWorx increase in adoption.

Automation

The ability to template and build infrastructure, enterprise container platform, storage layer and application in the way that only container and container platforms make possible, is a true enabler for hybrid IT.

Enterprise design

So what do you need to design to build an enterprise container platform? This mindmap is an example of what you may need to design and build to run one of these platforms in an enterprise manner. This is just an example of what may need to be done. You may get away with lighter than this or you may have more complexity:

Container right mix photo 2.png

Innovate faster with your Right Mix of Hybrid Cloud 

Cloud is an experience, not a destination. HPE provides you open choice of hybrid cloud solutions and enables a seamless experience across all your clouds. Our hybrid cloud transformation experts can help you build the right mix of hybrid cloud that is right for your business and deliver it as a service.  Complete information on how containers help create the hybrid cloud "RightMix" is available here

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