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Common mistakes in container adoption -- and how to avoid them

Even with container adoption steadily on the rise, enterprises still grapple with how to best deploy, manage and secure the technology.

In this episode of EMA Cloud Rants -- a cloud-focused video series hosted by analyst firm EMA -- we discuss 12 of the most common challenges IT and development teams face when using containers, along with strategies to overcome them.

One of the most common mistakes enterprises make, especially early on in the container adoption process, is assuming the technology can replace other existing IT tools and processes.

"The first [challenge] I see is that customers think that containers are all they need and that they will do everything for them," said Jens Söldner, independent IT consultant and vExpert.

For example, developers and admins shouldn't view containers as a replacement for automation; even with containers in place, teams still need tool sets that can automate their release processes.

Similarly, enterprises often fail to fully grasp the differences between containers and VMs, overlooking, for instance, the fact that containers are immutable and stateless. And this lack of understanding can lead to significant challenges -- especially around compliance -- further down the road.

Another common mistake during container adoption is a lack of security. Through its introduction of new APIs, as well as east and west traffic flows between Kubernetes pods, container technology can expand an organization's attack surface. And a traditional firewall won't be enough to thwart potential threats.

To minimize container deployment and management headaches, many organizations turn to managed container and Kubernetes services in the public cloud -- a market that continues to grow as providers race to roll out new services.

"We have a multitude of different container platforms [and] providers out there," Söldner said.

But even these managed services, such as AWS Fargate or OpenShift on Azure, come with their own set of challenges -- particularly around lock-in. These provider-native services, for example, have differences in APIs, feature sets and more, and as users become more reliant on them, they often do so at the cost of workload portability between cloud platforms.

Tune in to the video above to hear other common container adoption snags and how your team can dodge them.

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