DevOps, by its very nature narrows the gap between the IT developers’ team and operations’ team by sharing software and dependencies while DevOps containers eliminates the conflicts among different environments for an effective collaboration of teams and continuity. Talking about containers, you need to explore the types of containers in DevOps to adopt what best suits the requirements of your organizations.
In the past, organizations used system containers that are monoliths, which comprised of tools and configuration designed for virtual machines. These were OS centric solutions. Now, we use application containers that run on individual process suiting immutable infrastructure and microservices centric solutions.
DevOps Container orchestration & its tools
The increase in container technology raised the demand of deployment and management and moving to cloud would be an optimum way to manage them. This requires the right set of tools to manage containerized application from development to deployment process with respect to specifications. Today’s software development cycles has gone far from just being monolithic that it started producing components specific applications that occupy numerous containers. Having to deal with a lot of codes and their dependencies, the system tends to become complex and that’s when orchestration tools come into picture. These tools help in prioritizing and organizing workflow along with the following advantages
- Better scalability, portability, availability
- Easy deployment
- Balance application load
- Better network connectivity
Let’s discuss the popular DevOps container orchestration tools in detail and how it impacts your application development process
Considered as a de facto standard for orchestration of containers, Kubernetes gained popularity in DevOps culture as it allows you to create self-service PaaS. It provides a wide range of functionality and enables you to move workloads without having to alter your application or infrastructure. With Kubernetes, you can automate deployments, rollouts, track service analytics and balance load.
Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS)
Amazon ECS is an open source orchestration tool to run containers through AWS Fargate which eliminates the need for provisioning and allows you to pay for specific resources for a particular application. It easily integrates with services like AWS Identity, IAM, CloudWatch while you deploy containers. It provides great flexibility to your application to make the best use of such integrations; improves observability and enhances security. By using ECS, you can now concentrate on developing the application and managing it instead of worrying about infrastructure.
When you define a state of service, Docker will be able to maintain it. It is more suitable for organizations that are new to containers as it does not have advanced functionalities. You can use applications as microservices in swarm clusters and install them quickly using Docker Compose. The containers are deployed faster which improves scaling and does not require any external tool to track or monitor the workflows. Docker swarm is an ideal choice if you want to set up and run containerized application without any hiccups.
Can DevOps survive without Containers?
Organizations practice DevOps to eliminate bottlenecks in the process of software delivery by breaking the barriers between teams. To have the teams resonating with each other for a smooth deployment, you need to adopt containers. With them, you can spin instances, deploy components in no time as the codes and builds are packed inside these containers and easily shifted to production environment. Though containers have a lot of advantages, it can still be an option than a prerequisite. You can still implement DevOps without Containers through the following methods:
Continuous integration: You can integrate code changes made by the teams into a version control repository so that you do not have to wait for the codes to merge until the end of development cycle.
Continuous testing: Testing the modules and systems continuously at regular intervals ensures quality and defect free products. This process is a part of the feedback loop to maintain consistency and zero defects. Testing and fixing the defects at an early stage reduces chaos at deployment stage.
Automation: Automating the process with suitable tools reduces manual efforts and defects. Repeating the redundant tasks in sequence helps us to reliably compile, build and deploy codes into production environment.
You can see that this is the era of technology and people are marching towards embracing cloud completely. You need to adopt containers in order to sustain today’s market demand which when neglected would result in
Returning to legacy systems: We will have to return to legacy systems and virtual machines if we fail to adopt containers. The agility that containers provide will lack in these type of infrastructure that would delay the releases. We would slowly be going back in time and witness these old fashioned forms of infrastructure taking over.
Losing Serverless computing: Serverless computing has been around for some time now, which became mainstream with the introduction of Lambda and can exist without Dockers. However, Docker’s influence in deploying the applications in silos enabled us to acknowledge the significance of serverless on a wide spread usage.
Challenging CI/CD automation: you can implement DevOps with CI/ CD pipeline without Docker but it cannot be as easy as it would be with the addition of Docker. Automating the release becomes simple with Docker container and its deployment technology.
Decline in DevOps adoption rate: with a lot of challenges to overcome without Docker container, you can possibly see a decline in the rate of DevOps adoption. As challenges increase with some conventional practices, security and monitoring havocs refrain people from adopting DevOps in their organization.
Thus, one of the influential keys to succeed in DevOps is adopting Containers in your practice without which you might have your releases delayed like how it used to be in the past. Though DevOps does not depend on containers, neglecting them could slow down the development and deployment process. To have rapid growth in business value, you can use suitable containers and container orchestration tools for your organization as per requirement.