Managed hosting: the key to getting container technology right

Jake Madders, Director at Hyve Managed Hosting, discusses container technology, a technology that’s becoming increasingly popular

The popularity of container technology is on the rise, and it’s largely thanks to Docker. Its adoption numbers and expanding market growth can vouch for it. But why? In a nutshell, organisations are wising up to the fact that containers can help make the mobility of applications – from one environment to another – pretty much seamless.

To date, containers hold just a small percentage of the ‘cloud-enabling technologies market’. Research from 451, though, suggests that container tech will see the fastest growth in this market by 2020, reaching a whopping $2.7bn.

However, as with any new technology an organisation decides to bring in, its complex nature can lead to problems. Integration and management in any environment is going to require specific skills which your IT team may not have in-house. With this in mind, what are the benefits? How can containers help organisations? Who can help in the optimisation of apps if an organisation decides to deploy them?


Container technology – the perfect platform or Pandora’s box?  

So, what even are containers? Containers are the newest way of approaching virtual computing. The technology looks at the issues that virtual machines struggle with. They are quicker, cheaper, use less hardware and RAM, and are basically better enhanced than their competitors. Containers aren’t just a novelty for small to medium businesses either. Enterprises of all shapes and sizes can use the technology to allow them to keep up with the ongoing digital transformation.

Essentially, they package up individual applications and allow them to be portable when they otherwise wouldn’t be. This is so important when it comes to businesses running old and unsupported operating systems that present a huge security risk. New research recently discovered that a huge number of UK councils are still running Windows 7 with no plans to migrate before its end-of-life in 2020. Beggar’s belief, given last year’s WannaCry attack and the impact that Windows XP had on spreading the virus.

Being able to containerise an app means it can run reliably in different environments – something particularly important for DevOps teams. Not only that, they basically allow users to cram a lot more computing capacities onto a single server. By ‘containing’ single virtual apps individually, organisations can run several high performing apps at the same time. This means businesses can improve cloud optimisation and achieve scale. A win-win situation!


Unlocking the potential

So, do you need help looking for a simplified container-based solution? Managed service providers (MSPs) can be the heroes for those who need a little extra expertise.

MSPs can provide each individual customer their own private Docker platform. This gets rid of the risk and security concern of a shared container environment with an easy-to-use interface. All you have to do is look after the daily management of the environment, which is reinforced by the ability to run DevOps integration between development and production environments.

As well as giving you the knowledge and leadership specific to container technology, MSPs have an in-depth understanding of other cloud-based storage solutions. This helps to identify the best environment for each application, meaning you don’t have to do any of the hard work.

Essentially, getting an MSP involved can help make the whole process run smoothly – you won’t have to worry about anything. As containers continue to prove themselves to be in the long-term solution to everyday enterprise IT issues, it might be worth considering how they could help improve your organisation.

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