Giving CIOs an insight into container evaluation criteria
Cloud Container Platform-The world’s leading CIOs, enterprise architects and DevOps teams know that container platforms have become a necessity for dynamic companies seeking portability across multiple environments. If they haven’t already started implementing containers, then they are certainly planning to do so. And if they have started then the usage will increase. In a recent Enterprise Open Source Survey, 67% of respondents plan to increase their use of containers over the next year.
Containers are handy units of software that carry application code across computing environments – from dev to prod; on bare metal machines or on virtual machines; on premises or in the cloud. Containers help make application delivery faster, because they make it easier for the development and operations teams to work together.
Two keys ways containers help – the ops team can provide container base images with the right content and settings (including security settings), and developers can ensure their carefully crafted and tested application code is exactly what gets deployed into production. By building effective testing and security into the container pipeline, containers are reliable, scalable and trusted.
From an IT infrastructure perspective, one of the more impressive aspects of container technology is the improvement in machine utilisation you can achieve. As a rule of thumb, if one physical machine can support the deployment of 10 virtual machines (VMs), a containerised workload could support 100 containers on the same platform. Practically, this improvement in machine utilisation can fund a business containerisation effort simply on hardware savings alone.
The popularity of containers means there are a number of ways to deploy and manage containers. Vendors such as Amazon, Google, Azure, Docker, and Red Hat all provide containers platforms. Many of these vendors use the Kubernetes container management software, originally developed by Google, open sourced with help from Red Hat and others, and donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.
Not everyone uses Kubernetes – for example, Docker (Swarm) and Pivotal (Cloud Foundry) originally developed their own container management systems, but even these vendors have now adopted the Kubernetes project as their core container management platform.
With all these vendors providing Kubernetes-based container platforms, and with various degrees of engineering maturity and operational experience, what do you need to consider when developing your evaluation criteria for the right container platform for your business?