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Containers Survival Guide for Infrastructure

Containers are coming! Get ready now (if you haven’t already).

  • The major impediments to containers in a production environment adoption are concerns over security and management at scale.
  • Organizations have already made significant investments in machine virtualization (virtual infrastructure) and are unlikely to abandon that investment.
  • Non-containerized applications and services will continue to need to be hosted and serviced into the future.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Containers don’t replace VMs, yet: It will be beneficial for all near term to adopt containers on virtualized infrastructure.
  • The future of software packaging: You will need to adopt containers in the near future. Software will soon begin to ship in containers, and you will be required to host them.
  • Not just a technology change: Containers require a change in people and process, with different/new development and operations roles and responsibilities in new agile processes.

Impact and Result

  • IT infrastructure groups should resolve to create container-ready infrastructure that will meet both the requirements of developers and apps managers and the availability, recoverability, and security requirements of the enterprise.
  • In the short term, the best solution is likely to be hosting containers on container-ready VMs running Linux and a container engine like Docker. This may not be optimal for performance but will be optimal for securing and assuring availability for the underlying infrastructure.
  • Longer term, enterprises should pilot running containers on bare metal to become familiar with the emerging tools for managing containers. The future is likely a hybrid of virtualized infrastructure and bare metal container infrastructure.

Containers Survival Guide for Infrastructure

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should adopt application containers, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Analyze the business case for containers

Identify the enterprise benefits of containers, and evaluate the extent of the business and infrastructure container needs.

2. Develop a container adoption strategy

Develop a short-term and long-term container adoption strategy that aligns with enterprise and workload needs, and assemble a customized container software ecosystem.

3. Develop and communicate the container infrastructure roadmap

Roadmap and communicate the journey to adopting containers, and develop a collective agreements document to govern the development and deployment of containers.


Onsite Workshop: Containers Survival Guide for Infrastructure

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Identify the Need for Containers

The Purpose

  • Discuss the anticipated benefits/concerns with containers with stakeholders.
  • Assess enterprise workloads to identify deployment needs.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Establish a need for containers in the enterprise.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Explore business benefits of containers.

  • List of container adoption benefits
1.2

Discuss container pain points/concerns.

  • List of container adoption concerns
1.3

Assess container use in your organization.

  • Shortlist of systems that might want containerization
1.4

Complete Containers Assessment Workbook.

  • Data that will be used to decide on container deployment needs

Module 2: Develop a Container Adoption Strategy

The Purpose

  • Develop a short-term and long-term container adoption strategy.
  • Assemble the ideal container software ecosystem.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Utilize current infrastructure for containers.
  • Test container native infrastructure.
  • Adopt a container software ecosystem that fits your organizational needs.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Compare containers and VMs

  • A list of pros and cons associated with containers and VMs
2.2

Explore workload deployment needs.

  • An understanding of your deployment needs
2.3

List initiatives to adopt containers on VM.

  • List of initiatives for adopting a containers on VMs model
2.4

Develop a bare-metal container pilot.

  • List of requirements and initiatives for piloting container-native infrastructure

Module 3: Roadmap Your Container Adoption Plans

The Purpose

  • Identify the tools needed to adopt containers.
  • Prioritize initiatives for adopting containers.
  • Build the Container Adoption Roadmap.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Select the tools that best fit your organization.
  • Manage timelines for completing container adoption initiatives.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Assemble ideal container ecosystem.

  • Container ecosystem custom fit to your needs
3.2

Build collective agreements document.

  • Document to govern container development and deployment
3.3

Build container adoption roadmap.

  • Roadmap to communicate journey
3.4

Prioritize roadmap initiatives.

  • Initiatives and target dates to include in roadmap

Module 4: Assemble the Containers Executive Communications Report

The Purpose

  • Assemble a Containers Executive Communications Report for stakeholders.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Effectively communicate your journey to adopting containers.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Identify and assemble the components of the Containers Executive Communications Report.

  • Containers Executive Communications Report

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Try Our Guided Implementations

Get the help you need in this 3-phase advisory process. You'll receive 8 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation #1 - Analyze the business case for containers
  • Call #1 - Identify key stakeholders, and explore how containers can benefit your organization.
  • Call #2 - Assess your need for containers by examining the deployment needs of your applications and workloads

Guided Implementation #2 - Develop a container adoption strategy
  • Call #1 - Explore the differences between the various application and workload deployment models.
  • Call #2 - Develop a plan for piloting containers on bare-metal infrastructure.
  • Call #3 - Assemble the ideal container software ecosystem.

Guided Implementation #3 - Develop and communicate the roadmap
  • Call #1 - Establish best practices between development and operations; build a collective agreements document.
  • Call #2 - Build roadmap and identify container adoption timeline for milestones.
  • Call #3 - Assemble and executive communications report for stakeholder communication.

Author(s)

John Annand

Contributors

  • Brandon Philips, CTO, CoreOS
  • Daniel Walsh, Consulting Engineer – Containers/Docker Team Lead, Red Hat
  • David Aronchick, Product Manager, Google
  • David Messina, VP Marketing, Docker
  • Kim Weins, VP Marketing, RightScale
  • Mathew Lodge, COO, Weaveworks
  • Sean Chittenden, Engineering Manager, HashiCorp
  • Shannon Williams, VP Sales and Marketing, Rancher Labs
  • Sheng Liang, CEO, Rancher Labs
  • Tim Miller, VP Engineering, RightScale
  • 1 anonymous contributor
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