Digital transformation has truly become a reality for many businesses today thanks to the rapid success of containers. The concept of software containers date as far back as the 90s but has only seen major success since 2013 when an open-source project named “Docker” came onto the scene.
Docker was revolutionary because it enabled developers to package an entire application into a portable, lightweight vessel; or what we now know as “container”. By packaging whole infrastructure systems this way, development teams can then enjoy moving these packages from one environment to another, meaning they can deploy, test and build applications, completely isolated from other components of neighbouring but essential software.
"Fundamentally, Docker had solved one of the biggest and painful issues for developers since the inception of software: how to get your applications running reliably, in any environment, whenever you need them to."
Codafication’s flagship product, the Unity Cloud Platform, uses Docker as a fundamental technology that allows us to hyper accelerate the modernization process for enterprises, especially those who don’t have the capacity to start their own digital transformations.
And there are many of those — for example, last year IDC published that 76.4% of enterprises have leveraged their business-critical software in containers (whether it be via their own container clusters or using products like Unity Cloud), with a following 21.6% having some parts of their systems running in containers.
A further 1.7% are planning on making the switch to containers in the following year. The benefits of utilizing containers have been well documented in many studies, but the brass tacks are this: most enterprises simply don’t have the time, money or capacity for failure to create brand new, modern software to solve modern business problems.
Old monolithic structures, in fact, have become heavy burdens on the backs of businesses — the time it takes for development teams to maintain and create in these environments can be narrowed down to three buckets:
- Maintenance Cost: Finding compatible hardware is increasingly difficult for legacy systems with every year; not to mention the costs surrounding licensing and the upkeep on infrastructure.
- Specialist Cost:What happens when the monolith breaks down, and no one knows how to fix it? The business pays an enigmatic developer an arm and a leg to come and save the day because he’s the only guy in your state who knows how to.
- Opportunity Cost: Finally, what could your developers have achieved, if they didn’t have to spend a whole day deploying one feature? What could your business achieve in its industry, had you more time up your sleeve and were able to solve problems faster?
For existing and archaic technologies, technologies like The Unity Cloud Platform are a lifeline. In the same whitepaper by IDC, it was also discovered that 75% of existing applications can be containerized, which means that development teams can make radical new changes and continue to modernize for years to come — containerization is not a hotfix; it’s the foundation for your business to grow upon.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the top benefits that containerization is offering to enterprises:
- Improved Security:In a time where data is so readily available, security is at the top of most CIO’s lists. When running applications in containers that are completely isolated, increased security is a natural by-product that you can enjoy. If you’re using Docker, you’ll also benefit from regular updates that help bolster your container security and strong system-level encryption that allows organizations to create a customizable layer of protection for their existing application stack. In saying this, it’s important to remember to remain vigilant when it comes to security.
- Increased developer morale:As mentioned previously, when utilizing containers, your development team can build, deploy and test independently of each other. Again — this is revolutionary, especially for larger teams who work on different components of your system and may need to use different languages based on desired functionality. This, in turn, empowers agile development, allowing individuals to turnaround projects faster with less code and fewer roadblocks.
- Lower application development costs: Containers need far less effort to orchestrate, meaning that you can increase the density and utilization of your existing compute instances, saving enterprises money on their cloud scaling architecture bills. A nice touch is that your more productive developers are also saving time and money on development life cycles that would otherwise cost organizations big bucks. Additionally, some versions of container systems, like say the Docker Enterprise Edition have included resources such as Active Directory and RBAC integrations.
- Increased Scalability: Containers typically can handle high workloads, and further can be configured by teams to increase available resources if they need. Let’s not forget that the core feature of containers, being their portability, allows for “clustering” of multiple containers should you need more containers to do the work with the help of readily available orchestration tools like Docker Swarm and Kubernetes.
What If You Don’t Have The Capability to Containerize Yourself, but you want the same benefits?
For those companies who haven’t yet joined the container revolution, there are plenty of alternative and small steps that can be taken to help ease the load on monolithic structures. For example, instead of building things from day one, you can utilize a platform like Unity Cloud that already runs on containers. While we don’t containerize your software, we can leverage the benefits of containers to help kickstart data enrichment and set up the foundations for your teams to start building new software at a lower cost and at a faster rate. This allows organisations to upgrade their processes now, and decommission legacy software later, allowing for an easy transition from the old world of technology, into the new. Here’s what you can expect to see with the Unity Cloud Platform instead:
- Discovery Sessions to Tailor You. Our team has come from a unique background of experience in Enterprise development and project management, and enjoy partnering with businesses to see where Unity Cloud can fit on top of your existing systems, and start planning for the transition off of old technology.
- Short, iterative projects. We want to be as cost-effective as possible for our clients, so our development styles match. As Docker is core to our platform, we are able to build and ship great software, fast.
- Got your own developer team? Why not leverage our tools yourself? The Unity Cloud Platform provides a development environment that allows teams to build great software quickly and economically. Unity Cloud’s library of core development tools covers middleware, authentication data abstraction, communication and much more, meaning that development teams can start writing business logic while Unity Cloud does the heavy lifting.