Embracing the Cloud Native Ecosystem

To keep pace with consumer expectations in today’s increasingly digitally-enabled world, companies large and small are evolving how they work to become more agile in product delivery, embracing new technologies to drive greater innovation, optimizing costs and empowering people to build new skill sets through a culture of continuous learning.

With the current and future pace of technology change, building a solid foundational architecture is critical to best support all aspects of this transformation. Transformation initiatives can become slow and overly fragmented without a hardened foundation that allows for extensibility and enables people to focus on solving critical business problems.

Cloud-native technology, and more specifically, Kubernetes is positioned to be the foundational digital fabric that enables companies to traverse this new complex, digitally-enabled world.

Today’s Technology Ecosystems are Becoming Increasingly More Complex

As organizations move forward with their journey to the cloud, they are beginning to observe an increasing level of fragmentation across a vast ecosystem of providers, platforms, and technologies. In addition to enabling new public cloud services, many organizations are anchored in their own data centers and have significant investments in private cloud and virtualization that they often need to integrate with their new public cloud platforms, creating a new, fragmented reality of today’s hybrid cloud ecosystems.

Fragmentation is an unintended consequence of this transformation and must be mentioned to ensure that the cloud is a strategic and sustainable asset that supports the growth of businesses and enables them to quickly and securely connect with customers through new global digital experiences.

With the combined effect of speed and flexibility, a technology fabric is being built that is now more expansive, more capable and more complex than ever before. This creates great value to organizations, but with that comes a new set of challenges when operating at scale.

A critical inflection point is being reached with many of these transformational efforts as organizations are becoming firmly positioned in a hybrid, multi-cloud environment.

A balance of frictionless developer experience, software-defined governance, and data-driven continuous optimization are the keys to taking the next step in this digital transformation.

Principles of Kubernetes

Container technology has transformed the way we have traditionally thought about infrastructure by providing greater speed to development teams, consistency to deployments, greater portability and it has brought open source technologies into the forefront of enterprise strategies across the globe. With containers firmly cemented as the new infrastructure fabric, a new cloud-native ecosystem was born, bringing to bear many powerful new technologies and platforms.

Kubernetes is at the core of this new cloud-native ecosystem and is one of the most talked-about technologies in current times. With this can come misconceptions as to what it actually means, what it solves for and why it’s important to us in this ever-evolving technology ecosystem.

Fundamentals

Containers: Provide a consistent packing model for a wide variety of workloads from traditional Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) applications, lightweight microservices, and many COTS-based solutions. Containers are very portable and simple to deploy on any infrastructure and in any cloud. Containers optimize infrastructure resource utilization, and therefore, enable great efficiency and high densities.
Kubernetes: Enables multiple containers to be deployed and run in a uniformed manner by clustering infrastructure resources for hosting applications. Kubernetes is self-healing, extensible, scales applications automatically, and is inherently multi-cloud, providing a consistent API across any infrastructure and a common interaction model for teams to deploy, manage and govern applications.

Microservice Architecture: When discussing microservices, it’s important to remember that monolithic applications aren’t bad, and Kubernetes supports running many critical monoliths within organizations around the world. Microservices have become a common architectural pattern seen frequently in Kubernetes. A simple way to think about microservices is an application that has been broken down into multiple component level services, enabling greater parallelism during both development and execution.

Compared to traditional infrastructure, containers provide great benefits on their own and move to a more application-centric deployment model. But, it can be challenging to manage containers at scale. Kubernetes has emerged as the industry-wide container management solution and is foundational for cloud-native technology.

Enabling the Modern Software Supply Chain

To compete in today’s digital landscape, the ability for organizations to deliver digital services and software more quickly and with higher quality is critical. This has to be balanced with the evergreen priority of operating applications and services reliably at scale. Operational scale in an increasingly complex technology ecosystem, coupled with dynamic business growth, is putting significant stress on the technology foundations organizations rely on.

Building a more consistent and cohesive architecture that allows software delivery to be seamlessly orchestrated across cloud platforms is a critical step in order to succeed. Kubernetes is an integral technology that can aid in unifying the approach across a company.

Kubernetes integrates as the API to infrastructure and platforms across many formats and is positioned to normalize the infrastructure layer enabling a consistent experience for developers, operators and security to build, ship and deliver continuous streams of value. All modern platforms are standardizing on Kubernetes as the foundation and the API standard to integrate into existing developer productivity platforms, such as Cloud Foundry, or creating new greenfield platforms for Function as a Service, Edge & IoT Applications, Event-Driven Frameworks such as Kafka, Digital Ledger Technology and Machine Learning platforms for an AI-powered future.

Organizations need a common architecture and interaction model to succeed with their business technology transformation in this increasingly complex technology ecosystem, and Kubernetes is positioned as the API that will enable a sustainable technology foundation.

Improving Business Outcomes with Kubernetes

As organizations continue to transform and integrate cloud platforms into their technology ecosystems, there are several business value streams that can maximize outcomes with Kubernetes as part of their technology architecture and strategy:

  • Improving and expanding global reach in a customer-centric world
  • Unlimited dynamic scalability supporting growth on-demand
  • Increasing the speed and success of deployments
  • Unifying risk visibility and remediation

Technology plays a critical role in supporting current business goals and enabling future innovation, but as with any technology, it must have intent and purpose to provide direct business value. The software-defined nature of today’s world requires technologies such as Kubernetes to orchestrate and simplify the variety of cloud infrastructure and platforms available to organizations, thereby freeing businesses to move quickly, with consistency, and scale dynamically to best serve their customers.

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