Insight and analysis on the data center space from industry thought leaders.

Choosing a Container Technology? Keep These 3 Things in Mind

Besides being efficient, containers create less technical debt than other legacy data center technologies.

Industry Perspectives

January 10, 2018

3 Min Read
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Tim Curless is a Senior Technical Architect at AHEAD.

In the world of tech transformation, containers are en vogue, and it’s easy to see why. Containers allow developers to move software from one computing area to another—say, from an on-premises data center to the cloud—and run efficiently on both platforms.

Besides being efficient, containers create less technical debt than other legacy data center technologies. Their small size means many of them can be hosted on a single server. And they’re known for being able to start and run applications almost instantly.

Despite these benefits, many companies are holding off on investing in containers because company leaders don’t understand the technology well enough to justify the investment. That’s not surprising, given that the market is fairly fragmented, with several dozen container providers competing for prominence and specialized products available for orchestration, runtime, coordination, and service discovery.

Choosing the right technology is tricky in the best of times. When leaders aren’t clear about what desired outcomes look like, the selection process can drag on. Choosing the right container tool for your company can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Keep these three things in mind, and you’ll be able to lead your company to a sound decision:

Agree on a decision-making process before trying new tools: When it comes to making business decisions, it helps to have an end in sight. That means being clear about…

  • Which division of the company the container is for.

  • Which team will work most closely with it.

  • What the needs of that team are.

It’s also wise to agree on evaluation metrics and a timeline from the start. This helps you avoid wasting time, testing tools that aren’t a fit for your needs, and finding yourself several months into the process without a clear decision.

Remember: Your goals are selection and deployment—getting lost in the weeds can be a timely and costly distraction.

Innovate like a startup, but select tools like an enterprise: A lot has been written on how enterprises can be more “agile” and “disruptive” like their scrappy startup counterparts. And it’s true that adopting new technologies is an important part of staying relevant and competitive as an industry evolves. But when investing in technology like containers, enterprises should be mindful that they may not be able to choose the latest and greatest offering the way a startup can. Why? Because enterprises have to be mindful of their age, legacy, and governance standards. It’s important to choose a container platform that can accommodate what they have without disrupting it.

Seek outside help: While container brands like Kubernetes and Docker have become fairly well known, containers are still mysterious to many outside IT. Even within IT, many leaders don’t have enough knowledge to confidently assess their options. Consulting a containers expert to evaluate your company’s needs will help to fill in the blanks.

Across the board, container technologies have become increasingly popular and common, with more enterprises aware that adoption might improve their processes and their bottom line.

To ensure that your company adopts this technology in a way that offers long-term benefits, remember that the best tool for your business depends on its age, its goals, and its legacy systems. Avoid ending up in decision purgatory by setting clear goals and timelines for your containers search. With proper planning and company-wide self-awareness, finding the best container technology can be just another mile marker on the road to your digital transformation.

Opinions expressed in the article above do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Data Center Knowledge and Informa.

Industry Perspectives is a content channel at Data Center Knowledge highlighting thought leadership in the data center arena. See our guidelines and submission process for information on participating. View previously published Industry Perspectives in our Knowledge Library.


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