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Leverage containers to maintain business continuity in challenging times

The global COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted normal routines, forcing enterprises to respond rapidly to ensure business continuity. As businesses adapt to a changing business environment, enterprise leaders must provide employees with productivity tools while also meeting the evolving needs of customers.

This situation reminds me of the importance of having an application development, delivery, and deployment process that can respond quickly and bring new solutions for end-users or employees. More so than ever before, software development teams require tools and technologies that accelerate the development and delivery of critical business applications. These applications could range from scientific software for drug formulation, disease diagnosis, or hotspots tracking and prediction. Even normal enterprise applications may need to be changed to handle an increased load — for instance, collaboration — as employees are forced to work from home.

Wanted: Agility to quickly adapt to changes

No matter the use case, applications need to scale-up or scale-down with minimal intervention to handle workload variability rapidly; the development and test process needs to allow for fast deployment of updates. In short, it’s imperative that the infrastructure and processes around software development allow businesses to quickly adapt to market changes and rapidly respond to customer needs.

A typical cloud-native application developed on a microservices-based architecture can be easily upgraded, modified, or scaled up and down without disruption to the software development process. However, many enterprise applications are monolithic and deployed on bare-metal servers. Upgrading a monolithic application would require change and redeployment of the entire code base, which can be complex with several unknown dependencies. Refactoring these applications to cloud-native, microservices-based applications is time consuming, costly, and may not always be possible.

According to ESG Research, organizations report needing, on average, 27 days to refactor and migrate an application to public cloud services. At this rate, it would take 7.4 years for a business to migrate 100 applications.[1]

Embrace application modernization with containers

In recent years, containers and Kubernetes have emerged as the de facto standard to deploy cloud-native applications. Containers allow developers to package an application along with its dependencies (libraries, binaries, and configuration files) together so it runs efficiently and reliably, irrespective of the platform or OS it is running on. Kubernetes has become the standard for container orchestration and has greatly improved software velocity and developer productivity.

Until recently, the benefits of containers were limited to cloud-native applications only. Legacy monolithic applications had to be refactored and rearchitected to be deployed on containers – a time-consuming process with questionable ROI. With recent technological advances, it is now possible to bring the benefits of speed, agility, cost savings, and greater developer productivity to monolithic enterprise applications by deploying them on containers with little to no refactoring needed.

Speed, agility, and improved productivity

By transitioning their core enterprise applications to containers, enterprises can boost the productivity of their software development teams and bring much-needed speed and agility to all their enterprise applications.

HPE Container Platform is an enterprise-grade container platform designed to run both cloud-native applications and non-cloud-native applications with open-source Kubernetes. To learn how the HPE Container Platform enables enterprises to deliver a modern experience for their non-cloud-native monolithic applications, watch this video:

[1] Source: ESG, Hybrid Cloud Trends, June 2019.