Containers in DevOps: 10 Priorities That Make the Case
November 07, 2019

Sai Nikesh D
Veritis Group

DevOps has eased the software delivery process by bridging gaps between the different teams in the process chain. While this has turned as a major advantage for IT firms, there is another important solution that can empower your DevOps cycle and help you realize the DevOps potential. That is "Containerization," the technology solution that emerged out of dire need for fast-paced application delivery.

Containerization has been a proven contributor to the success of DevOps continuous delivery cycles, helping automated, rapid development, build, test and deployment cycles.

But applying containerization in a DevOps environment successfully requires understanding of some key priorities for effective container management in the DevOps environment, listed below:

1. Integration

First step to leveraging containerization benefits is successful integration of containers with the existing IT infrastructure elements such as hardware, networks, storage, cloud and servers, among other. As the surveys show, Storage Management continues to be the most important integration point for containers, followed by Network Management, AWS/Azure, Microsoft System Server, Configuration Management and Monitoring, among others.

2. Management, Security and Compliance

Considering the containers' flexible and dynamic nature, container management is most spoken about as the key critical aspect. So, ensuring containers are in line with the corporate security and compliance frameworks is the second priority for container success in the DevOps environment. Availability, followed by staff skillset, complexity, performance and security and compliance are among the key pain points in container management. Certification, continuous scanning, documenting rules, maintaining private repository and developer focus are some important ways to ensuring security and compliance.

3. IT Operations Teams

Majority of organizations believe DevOps teams are mainstream in a software process. Likewise, Operations teams have a crucial role in container management. It will be hard for infrastructure, platform and application teams to manage containers without the operations teams. The reason is the growing container adoption. Moreover, containerized apps demand additional scalability, cost-efficiency, security and compliance, which usually fall under the ambit of Operations teams.

4. Encourage Hybrid Infrastructure

Given their dynamic nature, containers are usually hosted on various platforms, as per need. On-premise VMs, followed by off-premise container service, on-premise bare metal servers, off-premise VMs, off-premise bare metal servers, continue to be the most preferred choice for hosting containers. When it comes to adoption of hosted Containers as a Service (CaaS), Azure Container Service leads the race, followed by Google Container Engine, Amazon EC2 Container Service and IBM Cloud Container Service. Sometimes, organizations might also require adopting multiple container services, which would require hybrid infrastructure for effective performance.

5. Effective Kubernetes Utilization

Kubernetes is popular for effective container deployment and management on production and at scale. It also performs container scheduling and deals with container orchestration framework. By providing standard APIs, Kubernetes helps developers deploy code in line with the corporate policies. This avoids the difficulties associated with infrastructure configuration. So, effective Kubernetes utilization is one of the key priorities for container implementation.

6. Microservices

Microservices make the job easier by dividing the larger applications into small components, which can further be appended to large applications through standardized APIs. With microservices, you don't have to execute a single large application at a time. You can plan different releases thus speeding up frequency of delivery and minimizing turnaround time. Microservices, as individual applications, can be run on containers, which are in fact the best infrastructure choice for running microservices.

7. App-centric Container Management

App-centric container management adds to the effectiveness of container infrastructure. The application-centric CaaS model forms an abstraction layer on top of every container package. This covers the main application from the impacts of the underlying infrastructure. This also makes it easy to decide on app deployments in the cloud. This kind of management also ensures container deployment is in line with the organizational policies and also monitors, alerts, scales, updates and upgrades containerized applications.

8. Declarative Management

Declarative management facilitates cross-platform scalability and application portability, by enabling developers to declare the desired state of a containerized application beyond the scripting procedure. Under application management, the declarative management process involves DevOps and security and compliance teams too.

9. PaaS and FaaS

Container adoption is often seen along or on top of the Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Function as a Service (FaaS) models, majorly because of container flexibility. The majority of developers state "flexibility" as a reason for container adoption, in addition to PaaS. While some say containers along with PaaS facilitate easy onboarding of legacy apps. On the other hand, FaaS is growing in prominence to deal with delays in code releases.

10. Containerization is Priority

Overall, containerization is organization's top priority if you are keen about faster application delivery and portable applications, which are key to today's fast-paced software lifecycle.

Wait no more! Empower your DevOps environment with Container abilities!

Sai Nikesh D is a Senior Strategy Content Writer at the Veritis Group
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