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Developing apps in containers: 5 topics to discuss with your team 

Last updated: September 20, 2019
 

 

Sometimes talking to your development team can be difficult. You might be asking a lot from them with a limited budget, maintenance of existing systems, and tight deadlines. While you empower your developers to constantly learn new technologies and approaches, give them the tools that they need to be successful, the myriad of new information can be daunting.

Red Hat can help in your journey to containers, Kubernetes orchestration, and containerized application services and middleware to be more innovative and responsive. LogistiCare, for example, had systems that could not keep up with their growth and came to Red Hat looking for innovative ways to increase the speed of development and deployment while increasing system performance. With Red Hat Container Platform and Middleware, LogistiCare was able to create a new app development environment that would increase their release cadence and lower their operational costs.

Below are 5 questions to bring to your app dev team to gauge how moving to containers and containerized application services and middleware can help them become more productive and efficient. When asking these questions, listen to keywords or phrases they might use in their answers. If you hear these phrases, it is probably time to start looking into a Red Hat container deployment model.

 

 

1  Deploying/delivering apps faster

Development teams across all industries are being pushed to build new applications and services to enable business innovation and transformation. Below are some questions to guide the conversation with the dev team on figuring out where they stand and next steps.

  1. How complex is it for you to build and deploy an app in containers? 
  2. How long does it take you to apply a fix/update/enhancement to an existing app? 
  3. Are you using CI/CD deployment pipelines in your application development process? 
  4. Do you frequently face issues with deployment in higher environments which does not happen in the development environment?

Keywords/phrases: dev time is in months or years, app updates process is complex and long, lack of use of CI/CD pipelines, A/B testing, differences between deployment environments

4  Application services and middleware optimized for Kubernetes

Kubernetes is the industry leader for container orchestration today. Having your development team work with Kubernetes will not only benefit your business, but it will allow your development team’s efficiency prosper. 

  1. Have the application services and middleware you are using in your applications been engineered to work together and optimized for Kubernetes?
  2. Do your app services and middleware have a long track record of production deployments?
  3. How are you securing your apps? Are you using integrated security capabilities, DevSecOps, or other new methods that work across clouds and on-premises? 
  4. How hard is it to monitor and troubleshoot the deployed services? 

Keywords/phrases: current application services and middleware being used have not been engineered to work together and optimized for Kubernetes, importance of secured apps, current app services and middleware do not have a long track record of production deployments on Kubernetes, securing applications is fragmented, using disparate security mechanisms across applications, application security is done on an af hoc manner using specific cloud vendor mechanisms, using disparate monitoring and troubleshooting mechanisms across applications

2  Supporting multiple languages/frameworks

Language and framework support is always difficult. Being able to work multiple development languages and frameworks — like JavaTM—allows you to migrate or evolve your legacy systems, but will also help you attract a wider range of top talent. Here are some questions you can ask.  

  1. How are you exploiting microservices in your existing and new apps?
  2. Are you using well established frameworks and languages? 
  3. What are leading edge languages/frameworks do you see as leading edge and designed for microservices?
  4. Does your cloud-native application environment support the optimization of existing apps as well as the development of modern apps?

Keywords/phrases: use of a single language or framework for all development work, lack of use of leading edge languages and frameworks that support modern development techniques, unable to optimize existing applications to run on containers and Kubernetes, existing solution only supports new development of applications

5  Developer tools and resources for containerized environments

Career growth and education is always important to a development team. Red Hat Training and Certification and other Red Hat services allow developers to ask questions, attend workshops, and share an incredible collateral to help make the transition to deploying apps in containers. Here are some questions. 

  1. Are you using an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for the development of cloud-native apps?
  2. Is your IDE designed for the development of apps on containers and Kubernetes? 
  3. How long does it take you to develop, deploy, and deliver an app on Kubernetes using your current development tools? 
  4. How much time are you spending on self-training on a daily basis? 
  5. How important is continuing your knowledge/education on latest application trends via formal education, training, and experiential hands-on activities? 
  6. How do you currently get technical help for your application development needs?

Keywords/phrases: IDE does support containers and Kubernetes, IDE does not run on containers and Kubernetes, IDE is not browser-based, IDE requires installation on developer’s desktop, app development time using current development tools could be improved, getting technical support is slow or unresponsive, lack of education and training resources, unavailability of experiential hands-on activities for learning new cloud-native app development.

3  Ability to work in hybrid cloud settings

There are many benefits to moving to a hybrid cloud computing environment, but mainly it will allow your development team to innovate rapidly and safely. This will allow your containers to run in multiple cloud settings. If your dev team is thinking about moving to hybrid cloud, take a look below. 

  1. Are you developing apps that take advantage of one or more cloud providers? 
  2. Are you developing applications that span across many clouds? 
  3. How much time are you spending on making your app work across clouds? 
  4. Are you developing apps made up of on-premises and on-cloud functionality?

Keywords/phrases: unable to develop on the cloud, development is only on-premises, use of a single cloud provider, cloud provider lock-in, unable to develop hybrid or multicloud applications