Bigger is not Always Better
In today’s business jargon, legacy technology is synonymous with slow speeds, lengthy development cycles, and organizations that are stuck in the past, unable to embrace new service models or adapt to a fast-paced dynamic business landscape.
Let’s face it, this idea isn’t wrong.
If enterprises want to keep up with the competition, leverage new service models and thrive in today’s economy, they need to move away from legacy technologies and embrace virtualization.
According to Spiceworks research, by 2021, 75% of enterprises expect to use application virtualization. Here’s why.
Meeting the Needs of Today’s Consumers
Customer expectations are larger than ever, especially when it comes to media and telecommunications. 8K video has arrived on screens, streaming services need perfect quality even during peak hours, artificial intelligence and machine learning utilize greater resources than ever before, and IoT devices are set to revolutionize every industry under the sun. Powering all of these services and products, are IT ecosystems that need to be able to roll with the punches. Many organizations have spent years building up equipment-centric hardware-based data centers, and are struggling to rearchitect them to meet today’s complex demands.
Instead of continuing to throw heavy resources into adding CPU, storage or additional hardware systems, today’s organizations need to turn to a new paradigm entirely. Virtualization has been around for some time in the form of Virtual Machines (VMs). However, consider a future-focused strategy that eliminates your own in-house hardware requirements altogether, and allows enterprises to leverage the power of the cloud, complete with scalability, agility, portability, and ease of use.
Containers and Microservices: Say Hello to the Future
There would be no containers if there weren’t VMs, so it’s important to understand where this technology has come from. Virtual Machines break down physical hardware, and use smaller, reusable units of resources for specific tasks. IT can launch new servers for any function required. Each VM instance will have an attached operating system, and therefore take up a lot of system resources. For most enterprises, VMs function as part of a complex hardware and software ecosystem.
Containers remove the constraints of an operating system, as they run at kernel level. This makes them a whole lot more portable and flexible than VMs. A container is a self-sufficient space that can be launched anywhere, entirely removing the problem known the world over as “Well, it definitely worked on my machine.”
According to Forbes,
“Containers are bringing an unprecedented level of structure to the traditional software-hardware stack. What used to be an unruly landscape of software and hardware all mushed together is being cultivated into well-defined application services deployed onto a central pool of stateless resources.”
For this to happen seamlessly, organizations need to leverage an orchestration platform like Kubernetes, that can help you get the most out of using containers, as well as manage elements like container placement for best-in-class resiliency.
Now, Enter Microservices
Microservices can be thought of as discrete business functions, usually running on container technology. They allow for independent development and deployment, without impacting the rest of the application, and if something goes wrong, IT can troubleshoot the specific microservice without causing downtime to the whole system. Because microservices are isolated, enterprises can experiment with a mixed technology stack, seamlessly implementing whichever options work best for specific needs. Microservices are also more cost-effective and scalable, with each component scaling according to its own requirements, and automatically alongside demand.
Break it Down for Me. What Are the Actual Benefits?
The technology sounds cool, but how does that translate to business strategy? In a number of ways. Firstly, you’re speeding up the development cycle. As developers and IT can work on specific isolated parts of an application, new features, bug fixes and updates can happen in an agile way, quickly and according to demand. If your roadmap is usually achieved in months and even years, container technology and microservices can reduce this down to weeks.
Next up, think about the utopia of visual programming, having all of your microservices represented tangibly in one library, ready to build new services and value-adds without the need for even a single line of code.
This has a knock-on effect on your business strategy. A quick time to value means you can react to market trends and customer needs in a whole new way, creating an environment where you respond to your consumers with quick, measurable communication and change.
You’re also set to provide your customers with a better experience, especially in comparison to a ‘monolith’ IT infrastructure. When something goes wrong with a monolith, the whole thing comes crashing down until repairs can be made. Using a microservices ecosystem, developers can work on a specific problem, while business continuity is unaffected.
Sleek and Modernized – your New IT Ecosystem
With this as your foundation, you’re well placed to launch new products or services that meet today’s consumer needs, and you’re starting the race with a competitive edge against the monoliths that are so often synonymous with the big names in any given industry.
Thinking about changing your tactic from ineffective tinkering with your hardware to pivoting to a software-defined virtualization strategy? Great choice, give us a call.