The rapid rise of containers is starting to force some uncomfortable conversations about how enterprise IT as a whole is managed. While many IT organizations are now wrestling with how to manage handful of container applications it won’t be long before the number of applications running in their data center increases by several orders of magnitude. After all, developers are rapidly discovering how containers not only make their application more easily portable, it’s a lot easier to spin containers up and down as needed.
The next logical question then is to what degree containers will force IT organizations to look for a more holistic approach to managing the entire IT environment. With that goal in mind Robin Systems today launched the Robin Containerization Platform for Enterprise Applications, which Sushil Kumar, chief marketing officer for Robin Systems, describes as being the first application-defined platform for managing everything from the applications running on containers to the storage systems they invoke.
Kumar says unlike other management platforms that focus primarily on containers and the thin slice of IT server infrastructure they run on, the Robin Containerization Platform for Enterprise Applications enables IT organizations to manage everything from the application lifecycle to the servers and storage systems those applications will now be routinely ported across.
Because the Robin Containerization Platform for Enterprise Applications controls every aspect of the IT environment Kumar says every application can be guaranteed a service level regardless of whether the application is stateful or stateless. Moreover, IT organization can port applications without having to move or copy data, says Kumar.
Just as importantly, Kumar notes that IT organizations can use the same platform to holistically manage multiple type of application workloads, ranging from legacy applications to Hadoop. The end result is a more economical approach to managing IT that simultaneously serves to make the internal IT organization more agile, says Kumar. In fact, Kumar notes that most business leaders have made it fairly clear that they want IT departments to focus more on managing applications rather than the underlying IT infrastructure.
Containers will only increase that pressure as the number of applications in the IT environment start to dramatically increase. However, container applications and microservices will only represent a segment of the overall application environment. They may one day soon represent the majority of those application workloads. But other classes of application workloads will continue to exist for decades to come. As such, IT organizations will be in need of a management framework through which they can rule them all.
In terms of the inevitable pressure containers will bring to IT operations teams it’s still early days. But it’s also clear that legacy management frameworks have arguably become the worst enemy of the internal IT organization. Multiple silos of systems not only waste time when it comes to ascertaining the root cause of a problem; they create fiefdoms inside the IT organization that often work at cross purposes. It may take time to address all the technology and cultural issues associated with managing IT today, but at this juncture the one thing that is clear is that level of absolute change is now all but inevitable.