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Container Platforms: Build or Buy? | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #APM #BigData
You need to consider what operating system you’re using and what type of cloud infrastructure you are using
By: Miska Kaipiainen
Oct. 8, 2016 07:45 PM
Container Platforms: Three Questions to Lead You to Your Perfect Fit
Throughout history, various leaders have risen up and tried to unify the world by conquest. Fortunately, none of their plans have succeeded. The world goes on just fine with each country ruling itself; no single ruler is necessary. That's how it is with the container platform ecosystem, as well.
There's no need for one all-powerful, all-encompassing container platform. Think about any other technology sector out there - there are always multiple solutions in every space. The same goes for container technology. When you create something that is super scalable, the drawback is that it's not going to be a one-size-fits-all approach. However, one person's drawback is another person's advantage.
Simplifying the decision-making process
The first decision point is to understand what will work best for your organization. Do you want to build something from scratch, to make it as truly customizable as possible or would you prefer to use an existing solution and custom-fit it to your needs? Neither is the better choice - it's a matter of different choices.
There are many container platforms and many options to choose from, and the process can become overwhelming if you don't know the right criteria to use. Fortunately, there are a few basic questions that will help you make the best choice for your needs.
1. Build or buy?
Here's a case in point: if your stack is comprised of several web services and common databases, you don't necessarily want a system that will require lots of integration and tuning work. In this case, an easy-to-use solution might be the best option, as opposed to something that requires more hands-on management.
Experience has proven that building your own container platform is incredibly hard and time-consuming. At first, it might seem you'll find all the bits and pieces from various open source projects, but making this complex stack of technologies work nicely together while making it maintainable as a platform is very hard and takes a lot of time.
2. What's the goal?
Will you use the platform to run your web services? Your Big Data databases? What is the scale you need today? It's important to understand that there are platforms for different needs: the platform geared toward Big Data is not necessarily good choice to run your web services. The platform designed to serve Googlescale deployment might add unnecessary complexity and difficulty if your scale is not at Google scale.
There are many similarities among most container platforms, but they offer different features and functionality, addressing different kinds of developer needs. Pinpointing the use case for which you need a container platform makes navigating the options much simpler.
3. What size makes sense?
Compatibility and flexibility
The good thing is that you don't need to stay with a platform that doesn't suit your needs. Containers are ultra-portable across any underlying execution environment. You can always switch to some other platform since the most difficult part is already done: your software is packaged and deployed as containers!
The choice of the right container platform is an important one, but the deluge of options doesn't have to overwhelm you. Think about the simple three questions above to help guide you in the decision-making process.
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