Well, the answer is yes and no. Containerization is a relatively new technology and needs significant efforts to containerize an application, orchestrate, secure, manage and monitor it. Hence it’s worth looking at what does it take to containerize, deploy and run an application in real production in bit details for you to take a call whether you want to venture into it yourself or not.
Is my application suitable for containerization?
Every application is not a candidate for containerization, it must be carefully evaluated on various parameters like below.
- Are your application stateless or stateful? Stateless is an ideal candidate, the stateful application takes a lot more efforts to containerize.
- Is your application server available in a containerized format for you to build on top of it? e.g SAP apps.
- Is your application well separable (middleware, DB, frontend) with clear interfaces
- Is your application hardware-agnostic or depends on a specific version of hardware
What best practices I should be aware of while containerizing the applications. Some of them are as below.
- Choosing the right base image
- Handling the environment variables
- Exposing only appropriate ports
- Containers are mortal so dealing with the application data and making it persists across container restart
- Appropriate logging for debugging purposes
How should I orchestrate my containers?
As a next step, you need to ensure that the container is well-orchestrated using Kubernetes, Mesos/Marathon or Docker Swarm so that the scalability and high availability of the application is taken care of. This requires consensus within your organization to choose the right tool and dedicated expertise to configure it as per your application needs. You need to test the containerized application within the orchestration environment for functionality, performance, and scale. Also, you need to monitor the life cycle of the container and ensure you get the appropriate value out of it.
How do I cope with the changes?
Finally, the container ecosystem (Docker, Kubernetes and so on) is an evolving technology and thus is under constant development. The new functionality is getting added almost on a daily basis and older may get deprecated or even removed before you even notice. So it is a constant race between adoption and updation to keep the application lights ON. Also, with the frequent application updates, a strong DevOps team is required to constantly update the application containers and push to orchestration platform without suffering the user experience.
Now, isn’t all taxing to take on all these activities on our own while concentrating on your business? Well, CloudHedge, a leader in containerization technology provides an automatic containerization service for all your application (modern as well as legacy) needs. It also has a suite of applications to orchestrate the containers on any of the public cloud or on-premise. CloudhHedge has an expert team of professional services and managed service and can provide the support 24×7 across all major geographies.