How to Get the Most Value From Your Container Solutions?
Contributors: David Stanford
There’s been a fundamental shift in the technology industry over past 3-4 years with “applications and software-defined everything” dominating IT philosophy. The market continues to move towards a cloud native environment where developers and IT leads are looking for agility in application development, faster application lifecycle management, CI/CD, ease of deployment, and increased data center utilization.
Today, engineers and IT operations teams are tasked with churning out applications, new features and functionalities, configuration upgrades, intelligent analytics and automation quickly and efficiently to stay competitive and relevant, all while reducing cost and risk. An elastic and flexible agile development is now considered core to innovation and to reduce time-to-market. However, IT is faced with some key challenges, such as: siloed tools and processes, delayed application deployment cycles, and increased production bugs and issues – all resulting in slower application time-to-market, increasing costs, risk and inefficiency.
Docker revolutionized the industry with the introduction of application container technology where you can run multiple applications seamlessly across a single server or deploy software across multiple servers to increase portability and scale. While this has helped achieve consistency across multiple, diverse IT environments, removed the underlying OS abstractions, and enabled faster and easier application migration from one platform to another — it’s only the beginning. Organizations still need the right strategy and support to accelerate adoption of container solutions.
And it’s no longer a matter of when, but how?
How to speed container adoption?
Containerization is the new norm. Moving applications across heterogeneous environments from the laptop to the test bed, from testing to production, and from the production cycle to actual release both quickly and efficiently, is testament to an efficient and scalable containerized strategy.
So no matter what your broader business goals are, whether you are looking to:
- Align your cloud strategies with corporate visions
- Identify specific use case requirements for implementing container solutions
- Get your applications ready for prime-time
- Spin up applications for seasonal capacity surges
- Enable operational scaling and design for multicloud/ hybrid cloud deployments
- Configure application security policies
- Align application automation across diverse DevOps teams to streamline operations and troubleshooting;
You need the right cloud and container strategy, tools and expertise to help you bridge the technology and operational gaps, and accelerate the process of modernizing traditional applications. Services can play a critical role in helping you fast-track your transformation journey, while enhancing application portability and ensuring the optimum use of resources.
Determine the best strategy for your business
You need the right strategy alignment and cloud roadmap to maximize the impact of your cloud services across the organization. Coupled with that is the growing importance attributed to determining governance and security policies to reduce IT risk and speed time-to-market. Employing the right expertise – whether in-house or external, can help you to not only identify the right use case requirements for implementing container solutions, and determine technology/ operational gaps but more importantly, help you optimize your investment across people, processes, and technology.
Accelerate deployment across heterogeneous IT environments
Quick and efficient deployment of container solutions across multiple, disparate IT environments is a must, to enable operational scaling, configure feature integration, and design for hybrid cloud solutions. This is a crucial step in the implementation process, and you need highly experienced and trained specialists who can ensure frictionless operations through end-to-end network automation.You need a fool-proof solution design, test plan and clear implementation strategy that can ensure reduced lifecycle risk and interoperability. Engaging the right experts and skill-sets will result in faster implementation and increased time-to-value.
Consistent optimization and support for continued success
Maintaining application consistency and optimizing your application environment post-deployment, will help you exact the most value out of your technology investment. Conducting regular platform performance audits, root-cause analysis, streamlining existing automation capabilities, and running ongoing testing and validation, are all akin to keeping the lights on. Having the best-of-the-breed technology and industry expertise coupled with integrated analytics, automation, tools and methodologies enables you to preempt risks, accelerate container adoption and navigate IT transitions faster. Furthermore, you need centralized support from engineer-level experts who are accountable for issue management and resolution across your entire deployment.
Looking to accelerate applications to market, Cisco can help through our unmatched IT expertise, experienced guidance and best practices.
We offer a lifecycle of Container Services across Advisory, Implementation, Optimization and Solution Support Services to help you drive faster adoption of container solutions. We take a vendor-agnostic approach to offer container networking, infrastructure and lifecycle support to enable distributed containers across the cloud; manage cloud-native apps with support for orchestration, management, security and provisioning, and ensure integrity of the container pipeline and deployment process. For a deep-dive on our portfolio, please visit Cisco Container Services.
We also launched a new container management platform called Cisco Container Platform, based on 100% upstream Kubernetes, that offers a turnkey, open and enterprise-grade solution that simplifies the deployment and management of container clusters for production-grade environments by automating repetitive tasks and reducing workload complexity.