Container Modernization : Enterprise Marketplace

container modernization

Last month I wrote a piece about containers becoming an emerging battlefront in the infrastructure market. One of the topics I covered was Docker’s Modernize Traditional Applications (MTA) program. The Docker MTA program is the first large scale effort in the cloud-native infrastructure industry to focus on container modernization for existing enterprise applications.

I believe that there will be increasing demand for container modernization programs to service the enterprise marketplace. These different programs will help shape how organizations adopt and deploy container-based infrastructure including public cloud. They will also become key pipelines of continued compute growth for infrastructure providers like AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure.

What Is Container Modernization?

Container Modernization is a software concept that consists of consulting services to modernize existing applications into a “containerized format.” Designed for both IT operations and software developments teams, they help “containerize” existing legacy applications without modifying source code or re-architecting the application. Once an existing application has been “containerized” it can be deployed to the Container-as-a-Service (CaaS) framework of choice. This allows the organization to achieve the benefits of container efficiencies while also speeding up the migration process for organizations migrating workloads to the public cloud.

There are many CaaS frameworks to choose from but the two emerging as the leaders are Kubernetes and Docker Enterprise Edition (EE). These two offerings can be deployed across multiple types of underlying infrastrucure. Amazon Elastic Container Services (ECS) provides an AWS-centric CaaS while Google Container Engine (GKE) does the same on Google Cloud and is based on Kubernetes.

Docker’s MTA program was designed to accelerate Docker EE market growth. Since Docker EE is enterprise software it makes sense that Docker is first to market ahead of the open-source Kubernetes market.

Will Container Modernization Programs (CMPs) For Kubernetes Be The Next Wave?

Kubernetes is open-source software (OSS). Kubernetes has grown into the de facto standard for container orchestration and management (Github metrics). Because Kubernetes is open-source there is not a commercial side to the project delivering a container modernization program (CMP). Yet.

The cloud-native infrastructure market is becoming increasingly aware of the cost and performance benefits for container-based infrastructure. This will drive further interest in enterprises taking the step of containerizing applications prior to cloud migrations. Given the licensing costs associated with Docker EE vs. Kubernetes, many enterprises may look for alternatives to the Docker MTA program in favor of OSS. I believe this may enable software companies enabling Kubernetes to be a successful nucleus of additional CMPs. These software companies will provide Kubernetes frameworks that will compliment the container modernization services companies, all while maximizing licensing value vs. Docker EE.

These software companies will need to be able to deploy and manage Kubernetes clusters across different public clouds. They will also need to enable organizations to “containerize” enterprise applications and manage the details of the underlying infrastructure configurations. Clients will likely want to keep control over their AWS, Azure, Google credentials while also enforcing VPC and other security standards instead of working with new infrastructure management tools.

These software companies driving new CMPs will need to build integration into the public cloud providers directly to achieve this. Clients will likely be persuaded by cost optimizations that efficient cluster management allows (cluster management via on-demand vs. spot for example) and the ability to use general cloud infrastructure tooling for monitoring, security, etc.

Would you like more information about Container Modernization?

At Cloud City Ventures, we are currently working on a new CMP with a software company and happy to talk to prospective enterprise clients & partners about the program. Fill out the form below and get the conversation started about whether container modernization can help your applications:

Matthew Scott