How Containers Are Bridging the Hybrid Cloud Divide

    Enterprises struggling to find balance between running workloads on legacy apps in the data center and cloud-native apps on distributed resources might be interested to know that container technology might be on the verge of making those worries disappear.

    Over the past few months, multiple solutions have hit the channel purporting to either push legacy apps to the cloud using portable runtime environments or in some way integrate the functions of on-premises and cloud-based applications to help them work better in tandem.

    One of the newest is appOrbit, an app migration and development tool created by a San Jose start-up of the same name run by former IBM and VMware techies. The system provides a container-based means of automating the modeling, delivery and management of any software on any infrastructure, without having to recode legacy apps to navigate dynamic resource environments. The system is already employed at leading firms like Ericsson, Infosys and KPIT Technologies, providing application environments that support on-demand, self-healing, scalable, composable and portable management services.

    Meanwhile, Docker has launched a new service called the Modernize Traditional Applications (MTA) program designed to help enterprises migrate legacy apps to the Docker Enterprise Edition platform for deployment on the cloud. The intent is to give users a taste of what containers can do for current applications before wading into the complex world of microservices, says TechCrunch’s Ron Miller. Under the program, Docker experts work with vendors like Cisco, Microsoft and HPE to move apps to a container environment, usually without any recoding, where they can benefit from higher levels of security, portability and resource efficiency.

    Taking a somewhat different tack, Wipro and Red Hat have teamed up to provide an app modernization program designed to provide a repeatable and rapid means of supporting both legacy apps and newly created cloud-facing apps under a common framework. The service unites Wipro’s Cloud Application Factory development service with the Red Hat OpenShift container platform to develop new apps and provide native interoperability with legacy functions to establish cohesive production environments across public, private and hybrid cloud architectures. The process runs from the initial discovery phase to full production, with access to a global open source community for guidance.

    Of course, simply moving legacy apps to the cloud does not guarantee top-notch performance. Indeed, says Avere Systems’ Scott Jeschonek, there are many reasons why legacy apps work best on legacy infrastructure. Speaking to IT Pro Portal, he notes that access to data is often a critical factor in latency, so unless you intend to move all your data to the cloud, it might be best to keep the app at home as well. In the end, if an app is providing adequate service in its legacy environment, it’s probably best to leave it where it is.

    Still, with the enterprise under the gun to do things better, faster and at less cost, it’s likely that more and more of the application and data load will migrate to the cloud at some point. Using containers, that process becomes a lot easier, and the resulting performance benefits become a lot clearer.

    Arthur Cole writes about infrastructure for IT Business Edge. Cole has been covering the high-tech media and computing industries for more than 20 years, having served as editor of TV Technology, Video Technology News, Internet News and Multimedia Weekly. His contributions have appeared in Communications Today and Enterprise Networking Planet and as web content for numerous high-tech clients like TwinStrata and Carpathia. Follow Art on Twitter @acole602.

    Arthur Cole
    Arthur Cole
    With more than 20 years of experience in technology journalism, Arthur has written on the rise of everything from the first digital video editing platforms to virtualization, advanced cloud architectures and the Internet of Things. He is a regular contributor to IT Business Edge and Enterprise Networking Planet and provides blog posts and other web content to numerous company web sites in the high-tech and data communications industries.

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