Container technologies allow enterprises to create highly differentiated apps and services faster, with better quality and geographic reach, to create compelling customer experiences. They have quickly become an important element of digital business transformation for EA pros because they promise faster software delivery, tremendous scale, higher resiliency, greater flexibility, and broader implementation options. Everything about enterprise app infrastructures, development styles, and architectures is changing, and containers play a key role in each area.
However, Forrester’s TechRadar™ for business technology infrastructure found that containers and container management technologies are still in the Creation stage, meaning that some container components and management tools are immature and changing quickly. Companies must navigate a complex landscape of technology components to build, package, and deploy containers. To help tech management pros accelerate cloud evolution, I’ve recently published a report with Dave Bartoletti focusing on the software landscape for each layer in a typical container management software architecture. Some of the key takeaways:
Cloud platforms from the global megacloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM, Google, Salesforce, Oracle, CenturyLink, and SAP will set the pace, accelerating adoption of private cloud and hosted private cloud as well. In 2017, you need to:
Get your private cloud and SaaS strategy in shape in 2017 — start now!
Educate yourself about exciting developments in hyperconverged infrastructure, security, networking, and containers.
Take a fresh look at your regional and industry-specific cloud providers — specialization is afoot.
Over the past year Containers such as Docker have generated tremendous interest and uptake among well-known cloud providers, who use them to deliver some of the largest and most popular cloud services and applications. Container adoption is being driven by the promise that containers deliver the ability to “build once and run anywhere", allowing increased server efficiency and scalability for technology managers.
Hyperconvergance growing in adoption
A second trend developing at a similar rate is the adoption of Hyperconverged platforms. Hyperconverged platforms architect compute, storage and network together as a complete system (whether physical or virtual). Blending ease of use, scalability, and integration into easily consumable webscale building blocks which allows infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders to spend less time engineering and tuning fundamental infrastructure and more time putting capabilities in the hands of their firms' customers.
Hyperconvergance leveraging Containers, the perfect Cloud match
The growth of containers and Hyperconverged solutions with containers is emerging and in 2016 will become commonplace.This combination will yield the most flexible application packaging yet. AWS, CoreOS, Docker, Google, Mesosphere, Red Hat, VMware, and the various OpenStack players will lead the way. Hyperconverged infrastructure will be the foundation because it provides great flexibility with underlying resources in the pool for cloud services.
Red Hat held its 2015 summit last week in Boston. One of the most important announcements was the general availability of version 3 of OpenShift. After my discussion with Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO of Red Hat, as well as other executives, partners and, clients, I believe that Red Hat has made a strategic move and is taking the lead in enterprise-class container solutions for hybrid cloud enablement. This is because:
Red Hat has an early-mover advantage in platform refactoring.OpenShift and Cloud Foundry, two major open source PaaS platforms, both started refactoring with container technology last year. The developers of Cloud Foundry are still working hard to complete the platform’s framework after implementing Diego, the rewrite of its runtime. But OpenShift has already completed its commercial release, with two major replacements around containers: It replaced Gears, its original homegrown container model, with Docker and replaced Broker, its old orchestration engine, with Kubernetes.
The Cloud Foundry Foundation held its 2015 Summit recently in Santa Clara, attracting 1,500 application developers, operation experts, technical and business managers, service providers, and community contributors. After listening to the presentations and discussions, I believe that Cloud Foundry —one of the major platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings —is making a strategic shift from its traditional focus on application staging and execution to a new emphasis on micro-service composition. This is a key factor that will help companies gain the agility they need for both technology management and business transformation. Here’s what I learned:
Containers are critical for micro-service-based agility. Container based micro-services are getting momentum: IBM presented their latest Bluemix UI micro-services architecture; while SAP introduced their latest practice on Docker. Containers can encapsulate fine-grained business logic as micro-services for dynamic composition, which will greatly simplify development and deployment of applications, helping firms achieve continuous delivery to meet dynamic business requirements. This is why Forrester believes that the combination of containers and micro-services will prove irresistible for developers.