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Introduction

Emerging technologies such as application containers start with rip-and-replace ambitions before settling for an “embrace and extend” approach to legacy investments, creating an environment that is increasingly multimodal, rather than bimodal.

Highlights

  • Many enterprises lack the skills and resources required to implement cloud-native applications that combine MSA design with application container technology.
  • In a typical CI/CD environment, application code-level changes such as tests and integrations, and application stack-level changes such as OS patching trigger separate processes. As a result, new application code does not necessarily end up going through all tests with a new environment.
  • A multimodal approach to platforms focuses on the common ground above and below CMPs.

Features and Benefits

  • Details the way emerging application container technologies, including CMPs, relate to and leverage MSA designs, DevOps processes, and CI/CD toolchains, and provides insight into how to mix these technologies.
  • Details the way emerging application container technologies, including CMPs, relate to and leverage legacy tools and platforms, including configuration management tools, and IaaS as well as PaaS offerings.

Key questions answered

  • How and to what extent do application container technologies, including CMPs, relate to MSA designs, DevOps processes, and CI/CD toolchains?
  • How and to what extent do application container technologies, including CMPs, relate to configuration management tools, and IaaS as well as PaaS offerings?

Table of contents

Summary

  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages

Recommendations

  • Recommendations for enterprises
  • Recommendations for vendors

Enterprises will mix and match applications and application components

  • A new cloud-native application “holy trinity” has emerged
  • Application portfolios will become not as much bimodal as multimodal
  • Application portfolios will be managed around business activities rather than technology or design

Cloud-native applications combine application containers and MSA design

  • Application (not OS) containers and MSA are a good fit
  • MSA is about design rather than container technology
  • OS containers are a better fit to legacy apps' lift-and-shift efforts

Cloud-native applications combine application containers with DevOps

  • DevOps started as a bottom-up IT ops-driven initiative
  • DevOps needs to be as much about IT ops as about developers, all the more so with containers
  • The stack-centric approach that underpins application containers provides IT ops with plenty of opportunities to get involved
  • Container image management is becoming increasingly important

CI/CD helps with application containers and vice versa

  • Application containers tend to be used for CI/CD purposes in a DevOps context
  • Application containers unite code and stack change management

CM tools are taking application containers in their stride

  • Application containers take an upfront and explicit approach to configuration
  • Dockerfiles are not a replacement for CM tools, especially for IT ops
  • CM tools can help with dependency and image management

Enterprises will mix and match platforms and platform components

  • Enterprise IT will remain heterogeneous and hybrid
  • Enterprises will pick platforms based on a variety of parameters
  • A multimodal approach to platforms focuses on the common ground above and below CMPs
  • There are many ways to mix and match platforms and their components

IaaS platforms have embraced application containers

  • Container-centric CMPs and container-enabled IaaS CMPs will cohabit for the time being
  • Container-centric CMPs have the edge when it comes to hybrid/multi-cloud support
  • Container-enabled IaaS CMPs have the edge when it comes to legacy technology support
  • Container-enabled IaaS CMPs are a work in progress

PaaS platforms are redefining themselves around application containers

  • Containers contribute to the IaaS-PaaS convergence
  • PaaS started with containers and containers started with PaaS
  • PaaS embraces containers in a variety of ways
  • Containers solve the PaaS portability and packaging conundrum, and remove polyglot differentiation
  • The custom PaaS trend may not be short-lived

Appendix

  • Author

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