Cloud Native / Cloud Services / Development / Sponsored

Infrastructure Pillars for Application Success 

15 Jun 2020 3:00pm, by and

Dell Technologies sponsored this podcast.

Following the mantra that “all companies are software companies” almost invariably means adopting distributed services and open source tools, typically in a cloud environment, for application and platform development. However, while less of a concern for greenfield startups, the vast majority of enterprises must figure out how to adapt their existing infrastructures to support their DevOps engineers’ ambitions. This often involves the use of many different open source tools and multicloud resources as well as existing on-premises environments.

In this The New Stack Makers podcast, we discuss the infrastructure requirements for organizations making the shift to modern-day application development, deployment and management — and how Dell Technologies’ expertise can help to make that possible.

The guests are:

Bob Ganley, cloud senior consultant, product marketing for Dell Technologies.
Dormain Drewitz, director, product marketing and content strategy, at VMware.

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Before tasking DevOps with technology adoption to take advantage of the immense opportunities application development can offer with the right mix of tools, platforms and usually cloud environments, it is essential to both to determine what users really want. Once that is established, making sure that the infrastructure can support the adoption of the technologies to deliver is also essential.

“When you’re thinking about modern app development, there are the technologies but some of those technologies are really important because of the way that they support a different approach to building software. So, that ability to make lots of changes to build smaller services and units of code like that introduces a lot of complexity on the backend,” Drewitz said. “And so having the infrastructure to support that complexity and automation to support the full lifecycle of discrete different services so that you can push code to to prod quickly, as you’re learning from your users — is really important. And that’s really what ties together the quintessential ideal of building software that people love, and keep coming back to, but you must have the infrastructure to support it.”

While one might intuitively assume that unloading the management of traditional on premises or even VM environments and traditional data management to cloud environments is highly conducive to removing silos, this supposition is not necessarily true. At an organization with applications running in VMS, for example, “maybe you establish a skunkworks of development professionals that go off and try to understand Agile and start to adopt some tools and swiping and going into the public cloud to grab some resources,” Ganley said. “And then, you have developed essentially a silo of infrastructure that these modern or Cloud Native apps are being developed … The fact that those two aren’t together is what has essentially slowed down adoption of some of these very, very powerful techniques and approaches.”

Among the many advantages of adopting Kubernetes is how Kubernetes can be used to take a declarative approach to infrastructure. “Instead of having a critical abstraction away from the underlying hardware, you still have to tell it what you need to do. And you need to reconcile with what you want it to look like,” Drewitz said. “Kubernetes is designed to allow you to just declare this is the state that I want my infrastructure to be in, make it so and Kubernetes will continue to reconcile back to that state. And that’s something that provides a level of automation around infrastructure. That becomes critically important when you start to have lots of different services so that’s why it’s so associated with the microservices movement, you can do microservices without it.”

Meanwhile, existing infrastructure, applications and skill sets that organizations have long adopted and relied on should also not be categorically shelved or ignored.

“After all, organizations need to consider the existing infrastructure and skills applications they have,” Ganley said. “Call it tech debt if you want, but I don’t like that term because that implies that it’s only negative. But there’s tons of positive stuff there.”

VMware is a sponsor of The New Stack.

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