Are the barriers for container adoption too high for the enterprise?
Lack of best practices and comprehensive tools hold enterprises back from capturing the full benefit of containers.
Container technology has been generating a lot of excitement since Docker came around in 2013.
Containers promised to revolutionize the way IT operations are carried out across multiple environments – from development to test to production – making it easier to move one’s code from a developer’s laptop to a data center and to the Cloud. Containerization provided a way to make differences in environments’ supporting software and infrastructure inconsequential, so that running different software versions or having different policies across your network would no longer create obstacles for running the code across those environments.
Sounds great in theory! So why is container adoption not as widespread in the enterprise space as one would expect, given all the benefits?
We talked to dozens of enterprise companies to find out. What we consistently heard was that, while developers are excited about the speed and simplicity that containerization offers, there are many stakeholders in a modern enterprise who need to have a voice in the code-to-production process. From DevOps to security architecture to product management to legal, there are a number of requirements and standards that enterprises are on the hook to comply with.
Trying to manage the container lifecycle process and all of the supporting third party tools and integrations across the enterprise quickly turns into a nightmare, depleting budgets and occupying valuable resources for years. As one large enterprise retailer put it, “It took 30 to 40 people about 18 months to develop a solution for us, and we were in perpetual maintenance mode from there on.”
The fact is, enterprises are struggling with container adoption because they lack a comprehensive lifecycle management platform that enables them to build enterprise grade containers; one with built-in guard rails such as best practices, industry-standard metrics, out of the box integrations with robust testing and security tools, and automated checks and balances provided by compliant workflows.
Several tools do currently provide Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) capabilities for containers. However, as we talked to more customers several key objections to existing solutions were mentioned.
First, they don’t manage the container lifecycle comprehensively from acquisition to delivery and from conception to retirement. In addition, the definition of “enterprise-grade” often stops at High Availability/Disaster Recovery (HA/DR). This ignores the fact that enterprises need container lifecycle solutions that prepare them for the future – for example, provide them with reports for audits and compliance, guard them against technical debt accumulation or warn them of potential software license violations. And, finally, when it comes to best practices for enterprise container management, companies are left on their own. There are presently no industry-standard processes in place, as the space is too new.
It is clear that as it stands today, enterprises are not equipped with the necessary tools for container adoption. Will this always be the case? Are the barriers simply too high to overcome? Or is there hope on the horizon?
We are Qubeship.io, and we’re building the first Container Lifecycle Management Platform for the enterprise. Learn how we’re enabling enterprises to develop world class container-based applications. Visit Qubeship.io to see a live demo.