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Containerization: Better DevOps Through Environmental Resiliency

Author: Tom Moore | | December 23, 2021


 

DevOps is a set of software development practices that seeks to foster closer collaboration and tighter feedback loops between the development and IT operations teams. According to Puppet’s 2021 “State of DevOps” survey, 97% of respondents with highly evolved DevOps practices agree that automation improves the quality of their work.

 
DevOps is closely related to other development methodologies such as CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous deployment). In CI/CD, developers make small, incremental changes to the code base while ensuring that these changes still pass the testing suite, so that the new application version can be deployed to production immediately.

While DevOps holds many advantages for organizations that successfully implement it, getting to that stage in the first place is the tricky part. So how can you make your business more DevOps-ready without breaking your IT budget, or putting your existing development workflow at risk?

One highly viable option—although far from the only option—is to use containerization. Containers are software “units” that bundle up an application’s source code together with the libraries, configurations, and dependencies it requires. By wrapping your software in a container, you can ensure that it runs predictably and reliably, even in very different IT environments.

In a previous blog post, we discussed how containerization can enable faster, more streamlined QA workflows, in particular by enabling QA automation. In this post, we’ll go over another benefit of containerization: greater environmental resiliency for your DevOps teams.

Learn more about our DevOps Consulting & Managed Services and how our teams can deliver continuous integration and deployment as you develop or modernize your applications.

Barriers to DevOps Adoption

While lots of companies want to be a DevOps-enabled organization, far fewer of them are ready to achieve this goal. The barriers to DevOps adoption include:

  • Slow-release cycles: DevOps depends on quick, iterative improvements and fast deployments. If your release cycles are slow and “laggy,” it will take your organization longer to receive valuable benefits and capabilities that you can leverage against your competitors.
  • Legacy IT: Too many companies are held back by their legacy on-premises applications and processes, hampering their flexibility and agility. Because legacy IT is not optimized for DevOps practices, it’s guaranteed to slow you down by increasing the length of your release cycles.

 

According to a DevOps survey, the top barriers to DevOps adoption include:

  • Stagnant organizational culture and inertia.
  • Complicated mixture of legacy IT and infrastructure with cloud environments.
  • Growing software architectural complexity, including rebuilding distributed applications.

The Benefits of Containers for DevOps

Given these potential challenges, how can containerization help overcome them and make your business more DevOps-ready?

One way to modernize your legacy IT is to wrap it in a container and migrate it into the cloud. For example, too many organizations remain wedded to aging on-premises .NET applications that have a complicated web of third-party dependencies. By offering a predictable, consistent environment to execute software applications, containers prevent many of the issues with legacy IT that hold businesses back from taking full advantage of the cloud.

No matter where you deploy a container, it will always operate the same way. This uniform, consistent behavior helps resolve one of the trickiest parts of DevOps: getting your development and operations teams to work together harmoniously. For example, there’s no need for development and operations to spend time on a wild goose chase, tracking down mysterious bugs where the software acts differently on different machines.

Together with other DevOps practices such as automation, containers also enable shorter release cycles and faster time to market. Although containers are similar to other virtualization technologies such as virtual machines, they act at the operating system level instead of the hardware level, like VMs. This allows multiple workloads to run on a single container Operating System (OS). Containers are much more lightweight than VMs and have a much faster startup time, making them ideal for quick, iterative development.

Conclusion

Datavail is ready to help with your next containerization project, especially in cloud environments. We’ve partnered with hundreds of clients with their cloud migrations, helping them containerize their legacy on-premises applications and moving them into Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Oracle Cloud. To learn more, get in touch with our team of IT experts today for a chat about your business needs and objectives.

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