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Containers are taking over the cloud services space for a number of very good reasons. They can make applications easier and faster to deploy while streamlining a shift from broad, brittle services to agile microservices that adapt to users' needs.
But as helpful as containers can be, it's only worthwhile to move to a containerized architecture if your organization genuinely needs one – and if you're internally equipped to support that move. While containers can certainly improve your capacity optimization, they can also introduce a great deal of complexity if you don't select the right tools.
Here are three key indicators that your organization is ready to switch to containerized applications.
If your managers are asking whether you’re getting the best possible return on investment (ROI) from your cloud infrastructure, now may be a good time to take a look at containers. If you’re provisioning a high amount of capacity that isn’t being utilized on a regular basis – and especially if you’re running out of space – then it’s very likely you could obtain much greater provisioning efficiencies by switching to a container-based infrastructure.
But containers won’t provide answers to all your provisioning problems. They’ll introduce additional overhead – and they won’t be any better than VMs at adapting to user behavior if you don’t understand your users’ behavior in the first place. That’s why it’s crucial to start by building the necessary infrastructure to support containerized architecture.
Containers tend to be better than VMs when it comes to adapting to traffic spikes and scaling in an automated way. But in order to leverage these benefits, you’ll need an automated system in place to track your users’ behavior, analyze usage and traffic patterns, and allocate resources in anticipation of changing user behavior.
If you’re already adept at tracking and analyzing user behavior, then you may be ideally positioned to take full advantage of a containerized architecture – provided, of course, that you’ve also got the organizational infrastructure to keep a separation between containers clear, and assign responsibilities for controlling interconnections between microservices, package inclusions, and so on.
Before you implement the containerized architecture, you need to start with a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) that your service needs to deliver on. Once you’ve got those KPIs in place, you’ll need a set of tools for managing relationships between developers and operators, maintaining separation between infrastructure and development, and adapting proactively to hard-to-control factors such as spikes in signups.
If you’ve got a set of meaningful KPIs to track, along with a set of tools for optimizing around those KPIs, that means you’re ready to take your first steps into the world of containerized cloud services.
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