The following is the second in a series of blogs about how innovation is necessary for businesses – and how Azure Red Hat OpenShift, a managed offering from Microsoft and Red Hat, enables that innovation. In this second blog, we’re going to go further in-depth about how applications have changed and why containers – and container management platforms – are where businesses are turning to innovate.
As we highlighted in our last blog, businesses need to innovate. Realistically, they need to innovate now, and they hopefully should be doing so already. This need for innovation is nothing new, but the development of the digital world has totally changed the way business is done. Recent innovations in areas like cloud have only increased the speed of this change, with new technology allowing businesses to engage with consumers through a variety of channels.
Businesses are already taking advantage of that technology, too. As we highlighted in our last blog, we’re now in phase three of the application modernization phase, according to Forrester – businesses have modernized their systems of engagement and systems of insight. They are now modernizing their core business applications, meaning those that are yet to modernize must start to now if they don’t want to be left behind.
How the approach to applications has changed
The way applications are thought about has changed, and businesses are using cloud to digitally transform the brand by changing the way they design, build, and run applications and solutions in the modern enterprise. The design approach to applications has shifted from large monolithic enterprise applications to lightweight distributed components like microservices, functions as a service, and event streams. Application platforms themselves are generally hosted in the cloud and can access the multitude of services provided by the given cloud vendor, further changing the approach to architecting applications and delivering new features.
Application modernization is a growing area of focus for enterprises. If you’re considering this path to cloud adoption, this guide explores considerations for the best approach – cloud native or legacy migration – and more.
With this change in how applications are designed, typical development cycles are no longer measured in months or years, but instead in days and weeks by using an agile model. Applications are continuously built and deployed through DevOps tools and platforms based in the cloud and are increasing the velocity of the overall application lifecycle. Practically thinking, this gives businesses the chance to deploy new features for customers at a much faster rate than previously possible. Supporting this trend, application design and packaging are built with automation and DevOps practices in mind. For many, this is done by leveraging containers.
Why containers are crucial for innovation
Utilizing containers has become a preferred method of delivering modern applications, with a StackRox study of IT organizations showing that just 21% of surveyed organizations had containerized less than 10% of their applications. What are the reasons for this? There are actually several.
Firstly, containers inherently improve the velocity of software delivery through their lightweight, immutable nature. Packaging all of the application dependencies and configurations in a single container image, containers can be used across environments without modification, eliminating inconsistencies and speeding up defect resolution.
This makes containers much more portable than other options, while the isolated nature of containers means they have a limited impact on applications running on the same node. Because containers are so lightweight, you can run thousands of them on the same node – something that simply isn’t possible with less lightweight options. Their isolated, lightweight nature also makes them easier to restart if your application allows for that – and if you’re familiar with containers.
Why container management solutions, such as Azure Red Hat OpenShift, are crucial
The problem for many businesses is that getting to the stage where you can leverage containers to their full potential is a challenge. The vast majority of organizations require a container management platform to effectively manage their containers, with Kubernetes being the most widely adopted platform. Running Kubernetes alone is also quite challenging, though, and those without experience often struggle.
This is where solutions such as Azure Red Hat OpenShift come to the fore. At its core, the OpenShift platform serves to simplify the container management process, while also offering a raft of other benefits that power innovation in areas like microservices and migrations. As a container platform built on Kubernetes, OpenShift allows organizations to manage their containers with Kubernetes in a much more simple, secure way and move applications freely and easily. The benefits of this become even greater in the jointly managed Azure Red Hat OpenShift solution, where organizations can focus purely on development and innovation immediately and enjoy the built-in benefits Azure brings in areas such as DevOps and security.
In our next blog in this series, we’re going to examine some of the benefits of Azure Red Hat OpenShift in more depth and highlight how the solution enables innovation.
To read more about Azure Red Hat OpenShift, you can download our guide, Power Innovation with Azure Red Hat OpenShift, by following this link or by following the prompts below.