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4 ways to accelerate your digital transformation with containers

Businesses are increasingly turning to containerized environments to turbocharge innovation. If your company is one of them, we have some good news.

by Christian Sestu, Technology Consultant with HPE Pointnext Services' Workload Management & Analytics Team.

It’s been a few years now since enterprises en masse started in on digital transformation projects. In the early days, only a few had a clear picture of what it would take to get where they wanted to be. Change at that time (particularly in legacy-driven IT) was viewed largely from the risk assessment perspective, and only marginally from the innovation side of the story.

Today, things have changed quite a bit. More and more companies are feeling the need to transform in order to keep pace with strong competition in their market, usually from cloud-native start-ups or established market players offering more innovative solutions.

As a result, businesses are turning to modernized IT platforms that enable agile development and rapid innovation. In particular, they’re turning to a relatively recent, and very powerful, addition to enterprise DX strategies: containerized environments.

Container platform.jpgFor businesses heading in this direction, or already embarked on container-enabled innovation, HPE has some exciting news. Today, we announced the general availability of the HPE Container Platform and services for the industry’s first enterprise-grade container platform designed to support both cloud-native and non-cloud-native applications using 100 percent open source Kubernetes.

I won’t go into the nitty-gritty of this key announcement here – our press release does a great job of covering the details – instead, I want to dig into what the platform, and containerization in general, can do for your business.

Containers unlocked – transformation unleashed

Containers are a powerful tool to unleash the full potential of your company, providing a foundation for exceptional flexibility in responding to external and internal demands. It’s true that the move to containers is more than a technology change; it’s a cultural and mindset change as well. As Toby Weiss pointed out in a recent post (3 powerful ways to get the most out of containers), “moving from a legacy development and operations culture to a container-first culture means fundamentally changing the way you work, and for some organizations, it can be a wrench.” However, he adds, the results are well worth the effort.

Indeed, many companies are finding the results so impressive that they’re choosing containerized architectures and platforms as the basis of entirely new IT strategies. It’s not much of an exaggeration to say that containerization can do for companies’ development processes what the international shipping of physical containers did for the streamlining of global commerce.

Here are four ways containers can support and accelerate your company’s transformation efforts:

1. Enhance integration of developer teams and IT departments.

Containers can help these key resources to become one delivery team of enablers for continuous integration and deployment. CI/CD creates a real-time feedback loop with a constant stream of small iterative changes, accelerating change, improving code quality and ensuring adherence with business use cases.

Modern development pipelines are fast, continuous and automated. The goal is to deliver software that’s reliable, secure and fully tested – companies can integrate automated load testing, for example, by putting Apache JMeter into the pipeline. Automation and scripting can deploy a container from a newly created image to staging for further testing in a sandboxed environment.

Containers can also help companies accelerate and ease the onboarding of applications, improve training of DevOps teams, and deploy AI and data workloads, as well as keeping everything measured and completely under control.

2. Foster simplicity and speed of business innovation with microservices.

Containerization enables app architecture to evolve from monolithic code bases with waterfall development to loosely coupled microservices that are developed in Agile fashion and deployed independently. These containerized microservices can be easily shared, deployed, updated, tested and scaled instantly and independently of the other services that make up the application.

3. Reduce digital transformation risks and costs with infrastructure optimization.

Optimization is in reality not just about cost reduction; it’s about ensuring that the right amount of resources are available at the right time and used efficiently. Containers help you optimize the utilization and cost of your IT infrastructure.

Because containers are lightweight ways of packaging and isolating app workloads, they allow multiple workloads to run on the same physical or virtual server without any conflict. Businesses can consolidate datacenters, integrate IT assets from mergers and acquisitions, and enable portability to private or public clouds while reducing the footprint of their operating systems and servers.

4. Enhance business flexibility by enabling hybrid, cloud-agnostic IT.

Containers guarantee that apps are cloud-enabled – ready to move across on- and off-premises infrastructure with a high level of control. Containers are infrastructure-independent; they ensure that everything the app needs to run is packaged and transported together from one site to another. They provide flexibility and choice for businesses to adopt a hybrid cloud, single-cloud, or multi-cloud environment without conflicts.

Turbocharge your use cases

That last bulleted point is a crucial one, because many companies are still struggling to unlock the full potential of containerization in modernizing their legacy applications for on-prem environments. Security challenges, in particular, are at the top of the list for barriers to container adaption. However, with the right DevSec practices and tools it is possible to address some of these challenges. Check out this recent BriefingsDirect podcast from Interarbor Solutions Analyst Dana Gardner and HPE's Simon Leech, which covers container security in detail.

This is where the HPE Container Platform really excels: It can bring the speed and efficiency of containers to both cloud-native microservices apps and non-cloud-native monolithic apps. But the platform can support and accelerate your containerization use cases across the board. For example, it provides a curated app store for CI/DC, app modernization, data analytics, AI and and more. It enables you to lower costs with bare-metal containers and reduce risk with enterprise-grade security.

And you don’t have to go it alone. HPE Pointnext Services can help you get the most out of the HPE Container Platform and unlock the full power of containers for your transformation.

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Christian Sestu.jpgChristian Sestu is a member of HPE Pointnext Services' Workload Management and Analytics Team in Italy. He is a Technology Consultant with 20 years’ experience in designing and delivering enterprise IT solutions. Christian is widely experienced in containerization, scalability and orchestration. He has helped customers with a variety of innovative projects, including architecting solutions with the HPE Container Platform, OpenStack, Docker, Kubernetes, Apache Mesos, and Ceph Storage.




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