As containers and microservices are becoming more mainstream, enterprises are looking into ways of adopting these new technologies – for both new applications, as well as for certain (decomposed) components of their legacy services.
A key challenge for these organizations is coordinating and incorporating containers and microservices-based application – with their dedicated tooling, deployment processes and cloud environments – with their traditional releases and overall delivery pipelines and large-scale infrastructure.
Large enterprises today operate in a ‘hyper-hybrid’ state, which compounds the complexity that they operate in: having to support microservices AND monolithic applications; on-premise data centers AND Cloud/VMs, alongside native Container environments; CD-type releases AND traditional release pipelines. In addition, since the containers and microservices market is still emerging, we see customers experimenting a lot with running containers across multiple environments, or using different cluster orchestration tools and APIs.
In order to manage these complexities and minimize risks, enterprises need the ability to manage containers and microservices throughout the software delivery lifecycle, without:
- risking lock-in to a specific Cloud vendor or point-tool
- having to invest a lot of work (and steep learning curve) in rewriting complex scripting in order to re-purpose their deployment or release processes to fit a new environment or tool
- silo’ing their microservices/containers development and deployment from the rest of their release practices – for whatever ‘hybrid’ state they might be in.
The latest release of ElectricFlow 7.1 is all about enabling users to easily model, deploy and release containers and microservices-based applications as part of their integrated end-to-end software delivery strategy.
Container Management Plugins
As part of this release, we’ve introduced new Container Management Plugins, which you can find in our Plugin Directory.
Taking a similar approach to our powerful Dynamic Cloud Environments feature, these plugins simplify deployment to container-native cluster orchestration tools and cloud environments – such as Amazon ECS and Google Container Engine (based on Kubernetes).
These plugins allow you to define, provision, and manage containers cluster deployments directly from ElectricFlow, with all the necessary API calls for the target platforms and configuration management tools handled automatically, without requiring you to script these integrations.
This allows for:
- seamless integration with your (current) container cluster environment of your choice
- easy portability of your deployments across environments/clouds
- re-usability of all your models – for your applications, microservices, environments and processes – regardless of your chosen deployment targets. This ensures consistency and predictability of your release processes, without requiring re-scripting of your pipeline.
Model, Integrate, Accelerate
I feel that the future of DevOps and IT lies largely in abstraction.
What started with VMs – which taught us that infrastructure isn’t just bare metal, but rather is model of a configuration/stack – is now being extended to other components of your delivery process – your pipeline, procedures, integrations, etc. (all the way to our “server-less” future ;)).
These new Container plugins greatly obfuscate and simplify a lot of the manual configuration and API integration needed to run containers, particularly for production-loads – while maintaining your overall pipeline model.
I invite you to download the free Community edition of ElectricFlow and use the new Container Management Plugins to accelerates your on-boarding and use of containers and microservices, and more easily take advantage and test these new technologies for your needs.