In this ever-changing world of IT, the legacy of today was once the future of yesterday: namely, hypervisors. Hypervisors are now considered legacy, even though they are seriously underutilized due to issues with fear, uncertainty, and doubt around using these resources to their fullest. The new technology is containers. However, where are the operational tools to support containers? Where are the procedures? Where are the developers who understand distributed systems? We are moving toward containers at lightning speed without answers to those questions and many more. To move to containers today, we need a strategy.
We all try to do it, we sometimes succeed, but the increased density of workloads escapes many folks, whether they are in a cloud or using an on-premises virtual environment. Are there ways to help us gain more density within our environments? Is it still fear that keeps us from doing so? Are there real issues we still need to solve? Why are most environments running with CPU to spare? Is there still a fear of running too many things on any one system?
Containers and other technologies are moving administrators, developers, and even operational folks up the stack. In other words, we have abstracted out the hardware and abstracted out the operating system; next, we will abstract out middleware and eventually everything but the code to run. However, when we do that, we no longer train people to be systems engineers; we no longer have the ability to do root cause analysis. We have seen this many times in recent years, and it may just get worse. Root cause analysis is part knowledge and part tools, but most of all an understanding of the system underneath the code. We are fast approaching a time when this skill may become a lost art.
In Part I of this series on Do Containers Change Enterprise IT, we discussed the impact of containers on security. In Part II, we discussed the impact on data protection. Now, let us discuss the impact on performance and other IT management tools. The introduction of containers to enterprise IT tends to raise more questions to ask. This will change IT processes. So far, between security and data protection, the tools used have not changed radically. However, do the tools change for performance and IT management? Do the answers to the same questions change? Will our processes change? That really depends on where the tools and processes are focused.
In Part I of this series on Do Containers Change Enterprise IT, we discussed the impact of containers on security. This time, we will discuss the impact on data protection, which encompasses backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity. Since the applications are changing with the use of containers to be highly distributed and deployed through infrastructure as code, what to protect now becomes a major question. How we protect is well known, but what changes once containers are in use.
It matters not what conference you attend: the discussion in IT is all about containers and automation. The real question is, “Do containers change enterprise IT?” Some folks say they do in major ways, others are on the fence, and still others are having nothing to do with them. Let us look at all aspects of enterprise IT and determine what needs to change, if anything.
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