How Developers and Containers Are Accelerating the Cloud Agenda
Check out this interview with Jeff Chou of Diamanti for his take on how cloud and containers are affecting IT infrastructures.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Jeff Chou is CEO of Diamanti, a company focused on bare metal container infrastructure, with an executive team out of Cisco and Veritas. For DZone’s focus this month on cloud trends for developers, we asked Chou to share his take on how developer requirements are forcing enterprises to rethink infrastructure and embrace the cloud. He also discusses the challenges ahead of IT as container infrastructure is tasked to bridge on-prem and cloud.
DZone: Tell us about the new pressures that developers and containers are creating for IT infrastructure.
Chou: We see an obvious pressure on developers to introduce new applications and shorten innovation cycles. It’s creating friction between IT and application owners because the application owner is being measured on time to market, but IT is still being measured on availability, uptime, and governance metrics like compliance and scalability.
And [since] all of the new projects and technologies are driven by Docker and Kubernetes, microservices and scale-out architectures are the new developer tools that shorten innovation cycles. But they add to that pressure on IT, because it’s all open source, and while it’s easy for developers to build the new class of applications on laptops, it’s completely different when they want to move these applications into production.
DZone: Are containers accelerating cloud modernization?
Chou: Absolutely. Developers go to the cloud because they hate waiting. It’s a whole lot easier for them to swipe their credit cards and start developing their apps using the Kubernetes service at Amazon than to have to go through IT internally. Frankly, developers don't care at all about infrastructure. They hate IT processes and hate waiting for IT. They don't care if it's on a VM or on bare metal. And to some degree, they don't care if it's in the cloud or on their laptop. They want to develop using their tools, their workflows and they want to develop in containers because it's easier for them to do bug fixes and releases and testing.
So there’s that contingency of enterprise developers that are starting in the cloud. But then you also have the camp that’s heavily invested in on-prem, who have made the leap into containers, and whose container adoption is leading them on a slower creep towards the cloud. For the on-prem container adopters, we see it as a three-phase journey.
Their day one challenge is how to even get started. What are all of the different container technologies and which ones are they going to use? How are they going to stand up clusters and configure the networking and storage? It’s very difficult and generally takes teams of engineers nine to 18 months. The day two challenge, once they have the infrastructure, is how do they actually run containerized applications in production? They need infrastructure services, they need SLAs, and they need full stack support, all the way up to the open source.
And it’s really at day three that we start to see enterprises expand to the cloud. They want to decouple their applications from the underlying infrastructure, they want to run across multiple geographies, either in private or public cloud. And they increasingly want to do this on bare metal, without the VMware overhead.
DZone: How much traction does the concept of hybrid cloud have with developers, from your point of view?
Chou: When we ask 10 different companies what hybrid cloud means, we get 15 different answers, so there’s a lot of definition confusion. For a lot of enterprises, when they talk about having a “hybrid cloud solution,” in reality some of their applications run on Amazon, some run on-prem — but there really isn’t coordination between the two.
I think the reality is that the market is still very early on hybrid and even multi-cloud architecture adoption.
And there are a lot of network and storage challenges with the multi-cloud and hybrid cloud. How do you do multi-zoning on your networks? How do you do VXLAN? How do you do VPN? How do you do data protection? How do you do data backup? How do you synchronize your data when you're running a single Kubernetes cluster across 50 miles? So these are things that Amazon and cloud providers don't really solve that are really at the infrastructure layer.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.