It is hard enough to convince organizations to virtualize their mission critical applications, now IT professionals are facing the challenge of convincing their organizations to containerize those mission critical applications. Virtualization frees mission critical applications of being bound to a single piece of server hardware, making the movement of those applications to avoid outages due to maintenance or performance bottlenecks easier. The next step is to containerize the application, freeing the application from being bound to a single virtual machine, operating system or even data center. All of this freedom should enable further portability, greater scalability and deeper data center density.
The Virtualization Problem
The primary challenge with virtualization is that it emulates the classic data design technique of one-application per server. But now that single server is a virtual one. The problem is there is a massive amount of redundancy across virtual machines. For example, if the data center wants to deploy a hundred instances of an application with virtualization, a copy of the entire operating system, the application and the supporting elements are required 100 times. This redundancy impacts both resource consumption and the speed at which those 100 copies can be created. It impacts an application’s ability to scale up or scale down in response to user demand. In other words, the organization is less nimble, it needs to pay for resources ahead of time and more than likely will deploy a static number of instances of the application regardless of how busy it is.
The Containerization Advantage
Container’s abstraction is similar to virtual machines but at a finer level of granularity. Where a virtual machine shares only the physical hardware, containers share the operating system and most of the application components across instances. This finer level of granularity enables IT to rapidly respond to spikes in usage and it can immediately contract the application when the spike has past.
The Container Problem
For the most part applications have to be written to specifically take advantage of an environment with containers. This means legacy applications are left out in the cold. Even “tweaking” them to support containers is a major undertaking. But, if it is possible to adapt them for containers, they could certainly benefit from it. The good news is there are now transformation tools that will convert existing legacy applications to operate in a containerized environment.
The Data Center Reality
Most data centers are on the outside looking in when it comes to taking advantage of containers. Most have heard of the technology, but are more focused on their legacy applications than new initiatives. Solving the legacy application challenge allows data centers to adopt containers quickly and become more responsive to the organization and to the organization’s customers.
Get Your Container Questions Answered…Gently
Experts from HyperGrid join Storage Switzerland in this on demand webinar to discuss what containers are, what the advantages of containerizing legacy apps are and how to overcome the challenges in making the conversion.