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How does an enterprise containerize their applications?

How to use Green Rain to discover if your application can exploit VMware’s Tanzu or Amazon’s Bottlerocket

It’s typical for competitors — or frenemies — like VMware and Amazon to make competitive announcements in the same, short timeframe.

Recently it was VMware’s Tanzu announcement quickly followed by Amazon’s Bottlerocket. (No, I don’t know where they get the names from, either!) But container platforms are not new – Docker is very well established and our Open Source friends at Red Hat have had OpenShift container platform in customer hands for some time.

Before we explain what Tanzu and Bottlerocket are — and why you might or might not care — it’s important to start with your applications when considering containers. Mega-vendors are prone to describe the world from their world view, which can be “infrastructure-up” in the case of VMware and “cloud-up” from the viewpoint of Amazon.

At Fedr8 we believe enterprises should start from their world view, and in particular, be application-centric.

That’s why we built Green Rain to be the only application- and code-centric cloud, container and licensing insights platform.

How to discover if your applications are container ready

There’s no point knowing about Tanzu or Bottlerocket if your application can’t be containerized.

But how do you find that out? There are two main methods:

  1. Have an application expert look through the code, software architecture and documentation for a few weeks and make an experienced recommendation.
  2. Use Green Rain by Fedr8 to find out in a fraction of the time, effort and cost.

Green Rain can analyse a code base with a million lines and thousands of files and modules in just a few hours. This is impossible to do by human hand, eye and brain. Nobody wants that job.

Green Rain does the heavy-lifting with its deep-learning code-analysis tool to give code and cloud experts the information to containerize applications.

Green Rain’s Container Module

By importing your code repository into Green Rain you can, within hours, find out three important things about your application:

  • Cloud Ready – What might break if I migrate to cloud? What might I optimize?
  • Container Ready – Which parts of my application are container-friendly?
  • Licence Discover – Which vendors and products do my application use that require licensing?

If your head has been turned towards containers because of the Tanzu and Bottlerocket announcement, the first place to start is with the Green Rain Container module.

Green Rain Container Module showing potential container opportunities

Using this insight you can build up a picture of what opportunities there are for containerization: then, you can look at OpenShift, Tanzu and Bottlerocket as target platforms, just like you consider Docker.

What is VMware Tanzu?

VMware Tanzu is an evolutionary platform, combining the well-known Kubernetes (which emerged from Google back in the day) and VMware into one Cloud platform.

VMware continue to try to “own” the management space across clouds, infrastructure, virtual machines and now containers. It’s a one-stop-shop kind of thing, likely to be popular amongst existing VMware customers — of which, there are many! Tanzu is a management system that will orchestrate workloads… Amazon’s Bottlerocket is different.

What is Amazon Bottlerocket?

Amazon Bottlerocket is a container-friendly operating system.

Containers are a feature of Linux (and nowadays, Windows) operating systems.

It’s got easier nowadays, but back in the day, you had to be something of a Linux hax0r to get containers working. Then came along Docker to help build images and manage containers, but it was still a bit “command line-y”. Imagine Bottlerocket as an OS layer in a virtual machine that makes “doing containers” easy — you don’t need to be as much of a Linux hax0r to get all the benefits of containers.

Five steps to containerize an application

What does it mean to Containerize an application?

Application containerization is an OS-level virtualization method used to deploy and run distributed applications without launching an entire virtual machine (VM) for each app. Multiple isolated applications or services run on a single host and access the same OS kernel.

Containerization is, of course, a business decision and not just a technology decision. It always starts with Why, followed by What and ending with How.

  1. Why should we containerize? Is there a business case to containerize?
  2. What target platforms and architecture – Tanzu? Bottlerocket?
  3. How do I containerize my application?

For the technical containerization steps, this guide on Hackernoon by Henrique Souza is an excellent start.

A summary of Henrique’s process:

  1. Pick your base image wisely!
  2. Install only necessary packages
  3. Add your custom files — follow standards
  4. Define the user to run your container
  5. Define the exposed ports
  6. Define the entry point
  7. Define a configuration method
  8. Externalize your data (Green Rain helps)
  9. Make sure you handle logs “well” (Green Rain helps)
  10. Rotate logs and other append-only files

What to do next?

Don’t fly blind in the clouds.

Use Green Rain to analyse your most important source of truth: your code. Plug the Green Rain output into your Container project to help make the best-informed decisions.

Contact Fedr8 to talk about application-centric cloud insights such as Cloud Ready, Container Ready and Licence Discover.

Find out more

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