June 24, 2017

As more organizations opt to deploy container applications in the cloud, the processes used to build them are following suit. This week at the CloudNativeCon + KubeCon Europe 2017 conference Weaveworks announced the general availability of Weave Cloud Enterprise Edition (EE), a management platform optimized for microservices hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Weaveworks CEO Alexis Richardson says Weave Cloud EE is a managed cloud service through which the company provides release management capabilities and incident management tools needed to deploy applications using either Kubernetes or Docker Swam container orchestration engines.

In addition to being able to monitor individual containers, Weave Cloud provides access to networking services along with management tools for discovering relationship between microservices as well as troubleshooting any issues that may arise.

Via the release of Weave Cloud Richardson says Weaveworks is moving beyond simply offering a container networking platform. Weave Cloud combines the company’s Kubernetes and Prometheus container monitoring tool expertise to allow organizations to automate a continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipeline at scale.

As organizations begin to build and deploy container-based applications on a public cloud, they quickly discover they don’t have the processes in place to manage that process at scale. That, says Richardson, creates an opportunity for service providers such as Weaveworks to provide a managed service on top of the public cloud, where most container-based applications are being deployed today.

Obviously, the degree to which organizations will rely on a managed service to create a DevOps pipeline will vary considerably. Many IT organizations have invested a considerable amount of time and effort building their own capability. Many more, however, have barely gotten started. In many cases, organizations that have no DevOps expertise involving microservices may rely on a managed service, while continuing to manage the deployment of legacy application updates on their own. Other times, developers on their own are invoking cloud services to help them manage the updating and deployment of microservices.

Regardless of the approach, it’s becoming apparent that with the rise of microservices there are a lot more updates to code that must be tracked and managed. In many cases, the move to microservices will force a DevOps transition that many organizations have been otherwise slow to make.

Richardson says the first step in terms of providing a managed CI/CD platform for containers naturally focuses on the public cloud, where most of those containers are deployed. But as enterprise IT organizations start to deploy microservices in on-premises environments, Richardson says Weaveworks will evaluate extending its managed service beyond AWS.

In the meantime, IT organizations would be well-advised to re-evaluate their DevOps processes today before being overwhelmed by containers tomorrow. Today, an agile IT organization is often described as one that can update an application every month. But the definition of IT agility often comes down to how much faster your closest competitor is moving. It won’t be long now before that definition moves to every week and, eventually, every day or even multiple times a day.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.