It used to be that being technically mature was thought to be a good thing; now, that view is not so cut and dried. As you look at topics like containerization, cloud migration, and DevOps, it is easy to see why young companies get to claim the term “Cloud Native.” At the same time, those who have been in business for decades are frequently relegated to the legions of those needing ‘transforming.’ While this is, of course, an overgeneralization, it feels right more often than not. So, what are the ‘mature’ to do?
Talking to several older small and medium sized businesses, a few strategic changes help propel those who are thinking about tech ‘transformation’ into becoming better, faster, more cost-effective, and more secure. These strategies include focusing on containerizing business logic, cloud-enabling their enterprise, and taking a fresh look at open source offerings for their infrastructure. If we look at these topics from an executive seat rather than an engineering one, a path and a plan emerges.
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Containerization is not a new topic; it has just evolved. We have all gone from monolithic solutions to distributed computing. From there, we bought small Linux servers, and they felt like containers; then, virtualization came to market, and the VM became the new container. Now, we have Docker and Kubernetes. Docker containers represent a considerable paradigm shift in that they do not require a lot of hardware or yet another OS license…., and when managed by Kubernetes, they create an entire ecosystem with little overhead. Kubernetes take Docker containers and handle horizontal scaling, fault tolerance, automated monitoring, etc. within a DevOps toolset and frame. What makes this setup even more impressive is Open Source; yet, supported by ‘the most prominent’ tech infrastructure firms.
Once we start embracing modern container architectures, the conversation gets fascinating. All cloud and virtualization providers are now battling each other to get customers to deploy these standardized workloads onto their proprietary platforms. While there are always a few complications, Docker and Kubernetes run on AWS, Azure, VMWare, GCP, etc., with little (or no) alterations if you follow the Open Source path.
So imagine....once we were trying to figure out how to build in fault tolerance, scalability, continuous develop/deploy, and automate testing.....now all we need to do is follow a DevOps approach using Open Source frameworks like Docker and Kubernetes....and voila....you are there (well it isn’t that easy....but a darn sight easier than it used to be). Oh....and by the way, all of this is far easier to deploy in the cloud than on-premise, but that is a topic for another day.
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