Containers and Kubernetes have rapidly become preferred tools in enterprises’ DevOps armor. As lightweight, standalone packages of applications that could be run in any software environment, containers offer a solid alternative to the resource-intensive virtual machines. The benefits are instantaneous, particularly for instances where the workloads are heavy. Kubernetes, as the foremost content management and orchestration tool, has made the adoption of containers even more attractive.
All is not hunky-dory though. Containers and Kubernetes have their own sets of limitations and challenges. In their most simplistic implementation, containers can be perfectly isolated and secure. However, in practicality, containers are not implemented in perfect isolation of each other. In order to optimize IT infrastructure efficiencies, application layers within containers are often shared as runtime resources. This necessary compromise introduces a degree of vulnerability into the compute environment. The larger the number of containers and the greater the complexities of interdependencies, the bigger the risk is.
Security and compliance remain the number one barrier to adoption of containers for most of the enterprises. Some reports estimate 50% of companies have delayed moving to containers because of security concerns. Inadequate investment in security leads the list of concerns clients have moving their applications to containers in the cloud.
That is where the troika of Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud; IBM Cloud Satellite; and IBM Kubernetes Services come into play.
Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud
Since its acquisition of Red Hat in 2018, IBM has pursued Kubernetes-powered application modernization with unwavering focus. It has integrated pre-certified containerized software and foundational services from Cloud Pak with OpenShift, which has significantly advanced the robustness of Kubernetes.
IBM Cloud Satellite
With IBM Cloud Satellite, hybrid cloud services are now generally available in any environment—on any cloud, on premises or at the edge. In simpler terms, IBM describes a Satellite location like a self-contained IBM Cloud region where enterprises can choose to run IBM Cloud services.
IBM Cloud Satellite makes it seamless to deploy and run apps consistently across on-premises, edge computing, and public cloud environments from any cloud vendor. It brings the flexibility and agility of public cloud services to enterprises’ secure on-premises data center. Thus, new apps are built quickly, while maintaining strong regulatory controls.
Enterprise can consume a common set of cloud services including toolchains, databases, and AI in any location. The IBM Cloud Satellite managed distributed cloud solution delivers cloud services, APIs, access policies, security controls and compliance.
IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service
The third piece that enables enterprises to tide over Kubernetes-related security and compliance issues is IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service. It is a managed offering built for “creating a Kubernetes cluster of compute hosts to deploy and manage containerized apps on IBM Cloud.” As a certified Kubernetes solution, it provides intelligent scheduling, self-healing, horizontal scaling and more.
With these set of tools, it is possible to securely deploy and manage workloads across hybrid cloud environments; focus more on rapid application delivery and driving innovation; access a suite of tools to automate cluster management and handle app orchestration; and delegate the management of operations such as node deployment, resource automation, and security updates.