Containers and Their Benefits
At the 2016 Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure & Operations Management Show in Las Vegas, IT Chronicles’ Kirstie Magowan and Charlie Betz spoke with Mark Thiele from Apcera. They discussed enterprise-grade container management and how it can help companies to modernize legacy apps as well as managing containers in the Cloud at the enterprise level.
The value proposition of containers starts with their capabilities and portability.
Operating in the Virtual Machine (VM) space has always been problematic because there was no consistency of image. Image format made it difficult to move from a vSphere environment to a Cloud and even more difficult from one Cloud to another.
Performance, or increased speed of functionality, is another benefit of containers that a VM can’t match. Despite the value of a VM, it must boot up all of its Windows or Linux files, which can take an unacceptable amount of time, even measured in minutes, when seconds count responding to a customer or just-in-time service for IoT.
Containers can have apps ready to perform within microseconds. In a container, the common email application that we all use throughout the day is only active when in use, limiting the resources and time required.
According to Thiele, scalability is another part of containers’ value proposition. The promise of IoT, Big Data, AI, machine learning, cognitive computing and facial recognition (and many other IT trends only starting to poke their heads above the horizon) for enterprises is the opportunity to develop closer relationships with their customers.
Containers help enterprises to serve an ever-increasing population of customers, even if each customer’s demand on IT load is a fraction of what is required to support enterprises’ internal demands from departments, employees and systems.
Thiele explained that the Apcera platform is capable of modernizing almost any Linux-based VM app within an hour or two or a day or two, depending on its complexity. This creates a more secure environment for an enterprise’s apps, compared to running them in vSphere or OpenStack, for example. In addition, IT organizations discover a new level of flexibility.
The rewriting or refactoring of legacy apps is something that Enterprises are eager to gain benefits from including flexibility, elasticity, geo-distribution and running the app in real time in more than one location. Research from Gartner, IBM, IDC and others has revealed that most IT organizations are utilizing 75% to 90% of their resources just to maintain old apps.
Containerization allows companies to devote more time and resources to Cloud native apps or innovating in the Cloud instead of focusing so much on legacy apps.