The following is the fifth blog in a series about software containers and Kubernetes, and their importance in modern application delivery.
So far in this series, we have explored the evolution of containers, their benefits, the importance of container management platforms and how to choose which of them is best for your business, and some considerations for adopting containers. This brings us to how to prepare for working with containers. With that in mind, here are four fundamental steps that will help you get started along the path to container adoption.
Rationalize the existing application portfolio
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Look at the application portfolio to understand what aligns as good candidate workloads. Doing the homework required and selecting appropriately will lead to higher success rates and better returns on investment of the time and energy to implement. The outcome of a rationalization exercise is to identify and target classes of workloads or key technology stacks that would provide a high return on investment, as well as a timeline for containerization. Key characteristics to assess per application include: supportability of solution architecture within containers; whether it’s owned by a high-performing team, i.e. agile, cross-functional, release very regularly; and timing.
Choose a provider
Container runtime and orchestration options are maturing rapidly. There are a number of cloud-based, on-premises, and hybrid options to choose from to help jump start the process. Deciding whether to leverage cloud versus on-premises is the primary decision to make; from there of the organization can select a vendor/cloud provider, or opt to run its own instance.
Build a container pipeline
Once the organization has identified applications to refactor or rewrite for containers, it’s time to address where to run them, how they will get there, and what existing processes will need to be adapted. This portion is at the heart of the “shift-left-everything” initiatives that happen. The development, operations, quality, security, and business must work closely together to re-envision how the existing processes, tools, and technologies can and cannot work together to move quicker while maintaining organizational safety.
Assess, remain flexible, and be prepared to adapt
One of the biggest challenges in this space is the pace of change; the value of adopting containers is to tap into that with as much risk tolerance as possible. Build flexibility into the roadmap of how adoption will proceed and be prepared to learn and adapt.
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