Take Five With Tom Fenton

5 Reasons You Need to Start Using Containers Now

If you're sitting on the fence about investing your time and your company's resources in containers, here are five reasons why doing so is a good idea.

Container technology is one of the most-talked-about new technologies of the past five years. Although its roots trace back to its humble beginnings in 1979, container technology didn't become mainstream until 2013 when Docker came on to the scene. Since then, a whole industry has sprung up around it. As with any new technology, IT professionals tend to wait and watch to see which technologies will pay off and which ones will fall by the wayside. But now is the time, if you haven't already, to start using container technology. If you're sitting on the fence about investing your time and your company's resources in containers, here are five reasons why doing so is a good idea.

TAKE 1
They Are the Future.Various reports show that container adoption in the enterprise market is growing at a rapid rate, and that the majority of Fortune 500 companies have either begun to use, or are currently investigating, containers for their enterprise applications. The interest in and the integration of container technology in the IT world in general have been astonishing. For example, KubeCon, the annual meeting for Kubernetes professionals, doubled its attendance from 2016 to 2017, and it expects it to double again in 2018.

TAKE 2
They Are Secure.A technology is useless unless you can trust that it will be deployed in a safe and secure manner—and containers have reached the point of maturity where companies are now making products specifically designed to do just that. At KubeCon this year, I spoke with representatives from half a dozen companies, including Twistlock, Kublr and Tigera, and they convinced me that they have a handle on the security needs of containers.

TAKE 3
A Plethora of Tools.No longer do you need to handcraft bespoken tools to work with containers, because there's now a plethora of tools that allow you to fully implement containers in a production environment. These tools, many of which are free, are being developed and supported by such noteworthy companies such as Google (Kubernetes), Netflix (Titus) and many others.

TAKE 4
CI/CD is an Advantageous Process.One of the biggest advantages to container technology is its underlying process, which can put you at a significant advantage over your competitors: continual integration (CI) and continual deployment (CD). CI/CD allows leading companies such as Netflix, Uber and Amazon to rapidly deploy quality products that allow them to dominate their markets. If you're still deploying your products using traditional processes, you need to investigate CI/CD to see how it can streamline your deployment and be an enormous advantage to your company.

TAKE 5
Containers have evolved and developed to the point where you can safely place your bets on their technology and tools. In the early days of containers, there were new tools and technologies popping up daily and, to be honest, it was hard to tell which of these were going to be around for the long haul. Nothing can be more frustrating than investing your money and, more importantly your time, in a technology only to see it become unsupported or have a company simply vanish. But in the last year we have seen the cream rise and certain technologies, such as Kubernetes, gain such a predominate foothold in the market to the extent that you can be assured they will be around for the long haul. Now you can, with a certain amount of confidence, deploy tools that will be here to stay and with plenty of support.

About the Author

Tom Fenton works in VMware's Education department as a Senior Course Developer. He has a wealth of hands-on IT experience gained over the past 20 years in a variety of technologies, with the past 10 years focused on virtualization and storage. Before re-joining VMware, Tom was a Senior Validation Engineer with The Taneja Group, were he headed their Validation Service Lab and was instrumental in starting up its vSphere Virtual Volumes practice. He's on Twitter @vDoppler.

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