'Digital transformation' is a buzzword that has been tripping off the tongues of vendors, analysts and industry observers with increasing frequency in recent years. In a sense, digital transformation of business has been ongoing for decades. But arguably, it's set to make the biggest impact yet in the next few years, in the brave new world of ambient/artificial intelligence (AI)-driven computing. As Tim Yeaton, senior vice-president of Red Hat's infrastructure business, told ZDNet's sister site Tech Pro Research: "In five to ten years, I think it's about how much can be abstracted, how much can be automated, how much can be driven through machine-to-machine and artificial intelligence, with developers adding value to what's come before. That's where you're going to see the pace accelerate." Industry surveys suggest that most organisations are still in the early stages of this transformation. Many are starting with the customer experience, while smaller, more agile companies may be finding the process easier than large enterprises with legacy baggage.
Enterprise use of containers is set to explode, with up to 80 percent of organizations expected to be in production by the end of this year. Brian Gracely follows this phenomenon closely both in his role as a director of product strategy at Red Hat. Q: What's the outlook for container adoption this year? A: We'll see a lot of stability. We're seeing a ton of customers who are rapidly putting stateful applications into containers, and running them with Kubernetes in production. Q: Do DevOps and containers go hand-in-hand? A: You can do DevOps without using containers, but the beauty of using containers is that you have this one piece of technology for both developers and operations people. You have the same technology, and you can build a similar language around it. It forces those teams to work together.
We're happy to share that Red Hat was named a Strong Performer in The Forrester Wave™: In-Memory Databases, Q1 2017. This is a great recognition for the versatility and flexibility of Red Hat's in-memory data management offering, Red Hat JBoss Data Grid. The explosion of data and the rise of analytics as a core business function have helped pave the way for in-memory computing, and, in particular, data grid platforms, to move more into the mainstream as a way to help better address the performance and scalability challenges from big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), and the need for real-time insights. This level of performance and scalability can often exceed what enterprise IT has historically been able to provide. In-memory data management platforms such as JBoss Data Grid can deliver insights on perishable business opportunities before the moment is lost.
When insurer Aviva Group acquired Friends Provident International, it needed to replace aging proprietary systems that were expensive to maintain, and whose licenses were soon to expire. It chose a new solution based around Red Hat JBoss Middleware, which has reduced costs and improved response time for end users. Red Hat Consulting provided expert help, enabling Aviva to hit a tight six-month deadline.
As DevOps has grown in popularity, an increasing number of organizations are looking to containerization technology as a way to simplify and streamline application deployment and management. Container technology packages an application together with everything it needs to run. That makes it easier to deploy applications and much easier to move them around. Containers also offer some security benefits because they isolate applications from each other. They are similar to virtual machines, but containers on the same infrastructure share the same OS kernel, which make them more lightweight than VMs. And they can run on traditional or cloud infrastructure. As enterprises have begun experimenting with containers, vendors have been quick to put together container-related offerings. This slideshow highlights thirteen of those vendors who are leading the way with containers.