Containers have changed the way IT teams test and deploy software. They make it easier for enterprises to scale and deploy applications, but they’ve also introduced new challenges and more complexity into the mix. Companies are now deploying thousands of containers daily, and they have to figure out how to manage that complexity.
That’s where container management systems come in. These platforms automate the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications and can interact with all cloud platforms – including Red Hat OpenShift.
Enterprises are moving their workloads to containers for many reasons, including:
- Speed: Using containers, IT teams can quickly make changes to and deploy applications.
- Consistent environment: Containers allow developers to create predictable environments that are isolated from other applications.
- Cloud agnostic: Containers can run anywhere, allowing for ease of development and deployment.
Chick-fil-A: A Kubernetes use case
When you think of businesses that adopt containers as a solution, you probably would not think of a fast-food chain. However, Chick-fil-A is leveraging Kubernetes at the edge to help address its daily capacity challenges. The open-source container management platform allows applications to migrate seamlessly across environments; Kubernetes is becoming the platform for developing cloud-native apps, whether for legacy on-premises data centers or hybrid or public cloud.
Unlike a company where day-to-day input and output is measurable, Chick-fil-A’s daily influx of customers varies due to local events, the weather, and time of day. This unpredictability poses unique issues related to scale that Kubernetes helps address. The platform can:
- Scale with your enterprise without increasing your IT team
- Grow with your enterprise so you can consistently and easily deliver your applications, no matter how complex
- Run anywhere – on-premises or in a public or hybrid cloud
Kubernetes allowed Chick-fil-A to simplify the restaurant experience for employees and customers and increase the capacity of their existing footprint. They were able to build a connected environment that addressed security, identity, and connectivity needs in the moment.
While most enterprises using Kubernetes are running thousands of containers over a number of clusters, Chick-fil-A is doing the opposite and running tens of containers on each of their thousands of physically distributed clusters. In other words, Chick-fil-A’s edge computing environment is like a mini private cloud. They give developers the resources they need and a place to deploy applications on their infrastructure.
Container best practices
Chick-fil-A is just one example of how to utilize and manage containers for digital transformation. Enterprises of all sizes are adopting container strategies because of their cost-effective implementation and scaling abilities.
Regardless of your container goals, there are a few best practices you should follow:
- Plan out the architecture of your container-based applications
- Do a PoC to determine your solution’s true scaling ability
- Evaluate your requirements
- Don’t forget about security and governance
To learn more about how you can make containers work for your enterprise, download The Executive’s Guide to Containers.