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March 16, 2019

The promise of the container ecosystem and the service mesh: why is it important in a true hybrid cloud economy?

We’ll be taking the opportunity to shed some light on why Containers are the exciting new technology many enterprises see as their future at our upcoming Oreta x Google Cloud event in Melbourne on Tuesday 7th of May. You can read more information here.

But, in the meantime, here’s what we have to say about our experience with Containers, Kubernetes and Service Meshes and how it all fits together. Some common questions we’ll address at our event, in this post and in follow up posts include:

  • Are Virtual Machines and Containers the same thing?
  • What are Containers and why are they important?
  • Are Containers just another form of virtualisation?
  • Are Containers and Docker the same thing?
  • Kubernetes: What it is and what it is not?
  • How Kubernetes can help you deploy and scale your containers and applications as container adoption evolves.
  • How Microservices and Service Mesh (Istio) pair together for Cloud-Native apps.

Nearly every cloud vendor has plans to evolve to a Container ecosystem.

Google Cloud at their Next ‘19 event in San Francisco has dedicated 46 sessions solely on Hybrid Cloud, Kubernetes, Containers and Service Meshes. Nearly every hardware, software or cloud vendor including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, VMware, Red-Hat, Cisco, IBM etc. are heavily invested, have tailored offerings, or have a road map that includes plans on how their products will evolve to cater to the Container ecosystem.

If we look at the Cloud-Native Foundation (CNCF) landscape and follow the trends, Kubernetes, Containers and Service Meshes form the key ingredients for a true Hybrid Cloud solution. There are big bets and predictions that as the Container ecosystem matures, Kubernetes will be widely adopted as “the defacto abstraction layer” mainly due to its strengths in abstracting away the hardware making it easy to run applications (workloads) in a seamless and standardised way on any supported Public Cloud or on-prem infrastructure.

Why is all this important to you?

It’s no secret that infrastructure modernisation has entered the mainstream and the adoption of Containers and Kubernetes is on the rise for Cloud-Native applications. While most organisations have either heard about Cloud-Native and Containers or understand its importance, most struggle with how to get started.

VMware (founded in 1998) were slowing shaping the IT infrastructure landscape, and in 2004 their introduction of ESXi type1 hypervisor opened possibilities that were never imagined. VM virtualisation was in full steam, and at that time too, many dismissed this virtualisation trend as some fad - but we all know how that turned out.

In 2006, AWS on the back of this VM virtualisation (Xen and later KVM) technology changed the landscape of how infrastructure was going to be delivered and consumed and that shift gave rise to true cloud computing; there were many doubters of this trend too.

In 2013, Docker Inc popularised the concept of Containers by taking the lightweight Container runtime and packing it in a way that made the adoption of Containerisation easy. Even today there are many naysayers.

In 2014, Kubernetes was open sourced by Google Cloud, and this is one of the fastest growing open-source projects.

In 2018, Istio was formed to provide "traffic management, service identity and security, policy enforcement and telemetry services" out of the box delivering another level of abstraction. At Google Cloud Next’19 there have been many sessions that show how Istio’s adoption is increasing developer productivity and observability.

All these advancements in hardware abstraction have led to a paradigm shift in the way IT Infrastructure is delivered and consumed. These improvements in infrastructure delivery and modern forms of infrastructure abstraction, right from the early days of Cloud Computing (Infra as code) to Containers (Docker), Container Orchestration (Kubernetes), Service Meshes (Istio), have fundamentally changed the way organisations, including cloud vendors, build and operate systems.

Contact us to discuss your requirements with our team of passionate experts.