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Does an app container make it easier to manage the cloud?

It's a crazy world of distributed systems in the hybrid cloud. Now the app container adds to the craziness. Research expert Carl Lehman explains.

The challenge is how enterprises fully exploit all the integration problems associated with Agile; continuous integration; continuous development; DevOps; and cloud services, combined with on premises -- and balance all of it. These things have been created at an exponential rate. There are highly distributed systems in the data center, a couple of data centers, distributed workloads and data tools everywhere. So managing distributed systems is a lot harder when you use an app container.

And not only that, things are going to get worse as companies continue to containerize applications. They're taking apps built on services that allowed them to be dynamically assembled at one level, pulling apart the services into smaller microservices and stuffing them in Containers. They run anywhere and take their own operating system tools with them from dozens of services to hundreds of microservices. You're going from a handful of images to dozens or hundreds of containers.

This is distributed systems run amuck. The good news is the structure of an app container is being standardized to something based on Docker. But the organizational management of containers is still being debated. Understanding the dependencies microservices have on microservices, cloud on cloud, cloud on premises is a big deal. The most surprising thing is if you talk to a vendor about that, they stick their head in the sand. Vendors having the mind-set, "I want to lift and shift your data center to your private cloud using my stuff and be done with it," is a dangerous set of oversights across enterprises and vendors.

About the author:
Carl Lehman is research manager for 451 Research's Enterprise Architecture, Integration & Business Process service.

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