One of the more interesting aspects of modern cloud computing is the evolution from an extension of existing data center infrastructure to a unique means of supporting next-generation applications and services – a process that requires infrastructure modernization.
The initial use cases for the cloud were to burst standard enterprise workloads when traffic overwhelmed legacy IT infrastructure, and to allow line-of-business managers to quickly launch resources to meet their business objectives. Fast-forward 15 years or so, and the cloud is now the preferred solution for a wide range of critical applications. The applications include e-commerce, social media, and emerging IoT services like autonomous cars and smart cities.
Today’s enterprises need to modernize their applications. This comes as the cloud evolves into multi-cloud architectures, each of which may host multiple tenants on the same basic infrastructure. And naturally, the cloud operates differently from the traditional legacy data center. Most cloud providers, for example, employ highly sophisticated load balancing and resource provisioning software. This often produces conflicts for applications designed for the more fixed relationships found in legacy infrastructure. In addition, the sheer scale of the cloud can overwhelm some older apps that were designed to function with relatively limited resources and data sets.
Meanwhile, changes are also happening on the virtual layer of IT infrastructure, producing entirely new forms of abstraction that will alter the way applications are coded and provisioned. Container-based solutions like Docker, and related management platforms like Kubernetes, are fundamentally altering the relationship between hardware and software to provide new levels of portability and application integration. This has already led to the creation of microservices, which are tiny slices of code that can be mixed and matched using open APIs to produce entirely new services on the fly. Microservices are starting to infiltrate data environments across the board, from traditional manufacturing and commercial settings to advanced scientific research.
But the changes affecting applications in the new century go much deeper than their relationships to infrastructure. The ways in which apps are created, deployed, and managed, plus the very roles they play in daily life, are all different, thanks in large part to the digital environment created by the cloud. As virtually everything around us becomes connected to digital infrastructure, streaming live data 24x7x365, the enterprise finds itself having to ditch the old ways of app creation and support. Today, the enterprise needs infrastructure modernization in order to support newer methods of continuous integration and continuous development (CI/CD) found in emerging DevOps models.
In the modern business climate, new services and features must be rolled out at a steady pace to prevent drawn out development cycles that usually result in disrupted services, poor performance, and unhappy users. We’ve already seen how a simple mobile app can upend long-standing industries like transportation and hospitality. Going forward, we can expect more of the same as connectivity expands to everyday items under the Internet of Things.
In this world, the future belongs to those who can push new services to consumers quicker, and without hampering existing levels of service.
All of these developments are starting to coalesce into a highly efficient data ecosystem. DevOps can be kicked into high gear with containers’ ability to move services and microservices from one computing environment to another without any recoding. This was not possible even under the most advanced non-containerized virtual environment. Meanwhile, continuous delivery methodologies are enhanced by cloud-native application development that leverages capabilities like IT orchestration and automated scripting. Thus, infrastructure modernization become mission critical to the enterprise.
Forward-leaning organizations are already reporting a 95 percent or better improvement in the amount of time developers spend on enhancing business value rather than wading through the morass of resource provisioning and management. And this is translating to:
For organizations that are lagging behind with infrastructure modernization, time is of the essence as your competitors may already be ahead of the curve. With 5G connectivity poised to push IoT functionality to an entirely new level in the next decade, the enterprise is under pressure to make the infrastructure modernization to cloud-native, DevOps-style IT sooner rather than later.
CBTS stands ready to help implement infrastructure modernization changes quickly, effectively, and without disrupting existing services. Our team of experts has a proven track record in implementing next-generation, cloud-native application and infrastructure delivery so that you can concentrate on improving your time to market, eliminating downtime, and leveraging automation to ease your management burdens.