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Cloud Native Ecosystem / Operations

3 Ways to Achieve ZeroOps with Docker Swarm

Swarm has a focus on simplicity for developers, making it easy to get teams or new hires up and running quickly and enabling developers to focus on code.
May 3rd, 2023 10:00am by
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A ZeroOps philosophy helps organizations focus more on innovation and less on infrastructure while helping accelerate development and save both time and money. Much of the conversation around ZeroOps strategy focuses on Kubernetes, but for some companies — or even teams within larger organizations — Swarm can be better suited to their requirements, such as:

  • Smaller clusters under strict security regimes;
  • Teams that need to migrate to containers quickly and simply, with minimal friction; and
  • Small, high-velocity companies that need the benefits of container orchestration without the complexity of Kubernetes.

An open source container orchestration engine, Swarm has a focus on simplicity for developers is already closely aligned with the goals of ZeroOps, making it easy to get teams or new hires up and running quickly and enabling developers to focus on code. But the opportunities to realize a ZeroOps vision run deeper.

Here are three ways Swarm can help make life easier for developers:

  1. Automation for a hardened software supply chain — and reduced developer burden

Cloud native security is tough at the best of times, and it’s all too easy for errors and misconfigurations to fall through the cracks. This gets even more challenging for developers when more and more responsibility for security “shifts left” to earlier in the development cycle.

Moby, the open source project underlying Swarm, provides a framework that can help take the burden off of developers, integrating smoothly with other tooling to provide automations and self-service platforms, such as:

  • Drawing images from a;
  • Scanning container images for vulnerabilities; and
  • Signing and promoting images through your pipeline.

With these kinds of automations in place, you can reduce the surface for error in your development cycle.

  1. Managed Swarm — so you can focus on value

Swarm was designed to be simple for developers, but that comes at the expense of some operational complexity. There are plenty of pitfalls and stumbling blocks for the would-be Swarm operator, from the proper configuration of overlay networks to storage provisioning.

Leveraging Swarm as a managed service enables you to focus internal resources on what brings you value — not infrastructure-wrangling.

While major cloud offerings are sometimes described as “managed,” the actual day-to-day operations are usually left as an exercise for the user. Look for a managed services provider who provides a truly managed service, including fully-managed remote operations with up to 99.99% SLA.

  1. Tailor your developer platform to your needs

If you’ve decided that Swarm is the right fit for your needs, developer experience is likely a high priority. You want a platform that supports smooth, intuitive, high-velocity development and deployment — but you may have particular requirements to cater to around in-house tooling, compliance requirements, organizational structure or many other variables.

In cases like this, you may get optimal results from platform engineering. Platform engineering is the practice of building self-service, cloud-native development processes and pipelines tailored to your needs. Swarm can be a natural fit for the heart of your platform-engineering efforts, providing an easy-to-use, intuitive core for orchestration, integrations with security tooling and emerging features like Container Storage Interface (CSI) support.

Platform engineering can be a big lift, of course—and misconfigurations can be costly. For expert support, you may want to seek out a platform engineering partner who can help you implement the tools to manage Swarm effortlessly and integrate DevSecOps tools and practices, regardless of where and how you’re running Swarm.

Whether you engineer a platform, rely on managed services or build your own pipeline of integrated tools, Swarm brings the simplicity, flexibility and power to drive an accelerative ZeroOps strategy.

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