Microservices and containerisation: 4 things every IT manager needs to know

CATEGORIES

BlogTech

The popularity of microservices and containerisation has exploded in recent years, with 60 percent of businesses already adopting the technology in one form or another. And the trend shows no signs of slowing down.

In fact, since the take-off of Docker in 2013, containerisation and microservices have been reinventing the IT landscape, becoming one of the most sought-after tools for digital transformation.

But, as with any new technology, it’s important to look beyond the hype.

What are microservices and containerisation?

Containerisation is a method of virtualisation that separates applications and services at the operating level. Unlike hypervisor virtualisation, these containers aren’t split from the rest of your architecture, but instead share the same operating system kernel.

Microservices use containerisation to deliver smaller, single-function modules, which work in tandem to create more agile, scalable applications. Due to this approach, there is no need to build and deploy an entirely new software version every time you change or scale a specific function.

Deploying containerisation in your business

When it comes to making containerisation and microservices a business reality, there are a few key points every IT manager needs to know.

1. Docker and Kubernetes are the market leaders

Since its conception, Docker has become synonymous with the containerisation industry. As of 2018, more than half of IT leaders said they ran Docker container technology in their organisations.

In second place was Kubernetes – the container orchestration platform. Together, these technologies are revolutionising microservices and overseeing its rise as a viable replacement for traditional, monolithic infrastructures.

2. Containerization is the natural successor to virtualization

No one can deny the impact that virtual machines have had on IT but containerisation gives developers a new, more flexible, born-in-the-cloud and potentially more cost-effective way to build applications.

This allows application developers to respond faster to changing market needs and growing

Containerisation builds on the foundation virtualisation has laid by further optimising the use of hardware resources. As a result, IT managers and developers can now make changes to isolated workloads and components, without making significant changes to the application code.

3. Portability and consistency are the main drivers

Ever since it first arrived on the IT scene, containerisation has been integral to the DevOps movement. Its design makes it possible to move application components and workloads between a range of environments, from in-house servers to public cloud platforms.

Remaining infrastructure agnostic gives microservices the edge over traditional application delivery methods, as there is little need for configuration or code changes when porting services. Software quality also becomes far more consistent when you use containerisation, ultimately leading to faster development cycles.

4. Orchestration makes all the difference

With a greater number of moving parts comes the potential for greater friction. While microservices are designed to streamline the delivery of applications and workloads, they still need some level of man-management.

Often, organisations don’t see the full benefit of microservice adoption because they’re still running containers inside traditional VMs. This is like freeing a bird from its cage, but never letting it leave the house.

To gain the most benefits from containerisation, your applications need the freedom to move around your entire estate – no matter how many environments it spans. This is where an orchestration tool, such as Kubernetes, becomes essential.

Microservices are no small matter

If you want to understand the true power of containerisation, look no further than Netflix. The company’s transition from a monolithic infrastructure to cloud microservices has become a core part of the recent technology canon.

But they couldn’t have done it without the right tools and processes.

In many cases, poorly implemented containerisation software can lead to more complexity and technical debt. Just as workforce expansion can result in increased HR involvement, transitioning to microservices requires the same level of professional support.

To find out how we get things done, check out Nordcloud’s approach to DevOps and agile application delivery.

Feel free to contact us if you need help in planning or executing your container workload.

Blog

Challenges of virtual workshops

In March 2020 I was supposed to give a full-day training about Google Cloud Platform fundamentals. Unfortunately two days before...

Blog

All at sea in cloud migration? These 7 considerations might just save you

1) We moved all our Servers into the cloud, nothing appears to have changed, where’s the benefit? The cloud won’t...

Blog

Stop murdering “Agile”, and be agile instead

“Agile Macabre” on techcamp.hamburg, Apr-2020 I’ve been leading projects since 2002, becoming a full-blown agilist around 2011. Not so long...

Get in Touch

Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.








Nordcloud @ Smart Factory 2018 in Jyväskylä – 20-22.11.2018

CATEGORIES

Events

Nordcloud at Smart Factory 2018 Jyväskylä

Make sure to visit Nordcloud’s booth (C430) at the ‘Smart Factory 2018’ event, which is held in The Congress and Trade Fair Centre Jyväskylän Paviljonki, Jyväskylä between the 20-22.11.2018.

 

Smart Factory 2018 is an event focused on how to utilise opportunities offered by digitalisation

The event gathers together the themes of Industry 4.0 and the related technology, service and expertise offering. Smart Factory 2018 is targeted at all operators who are involved with changes associated with digital transformation in production activities and related new services and concepts. It strongly emphasizes the already known future-building themes, such as automation, machine vision, robotics, industrial internet and cybersecurity.

You can register for the event here:

Register to Smart Factory 2018

See you there!

Nordcloud at Smart Factory 2018

Blog

Challenges of virtual workshops

In March 2020 I was supposed to give a full-day training about Google Cloud Platform fundamentals. Unfortunately two days before...

Blog

Meet us at Microsoft Ignite 2019

Explore the latest tools and technology – join Nordcloud at Microsoft Ignite in Orlando on November 4-8!

Blog

SaaS Business Model and Public Cloud are a Winning Combination for ISVs

Our experts have helped many ISVs to leverage cloud technologies to transition their business from that of a traditional software...

Get in Touch

Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.








Azure DevOps Services

CATEGORIES

Tech

This post will show the main features of the Azure DevOps services.

Few words about Microsoft Azure DevOps

Azure DevOps has been created as a successor of Visual Studio Team Services, mainly known as VSTS. In general, there is no one application. We should look at this service as a set of tools, which can help in several ways people who use the “DevOps” methodology for continuous delivery of the highest value for their end-users. Summarising, we can use Azure DevOps for storing our source code in the GIT repositories, setup an automatic build and release solutions for every new piece of code committed to the repository, as well as plan & track all the activities related to Agile project management on dedicated backlog and set of useful boards.

 

Project setup

Before we start building our pipelines and committing code, we must create a project in Azure DevOps. To do that, we need an account in the service. Account creation is free. When the account will be ready, the new user is able to fill in all the information related to the organisation, and after that he can create a new empty project.

In the Azure DevOps project settings pane, the project owner can decide which features will be used. Below the picture shows a full list of available services. Let´s focus in detail on some of them:

 

Azure DevOps

Boards

When a new project starts, all the features should be divided into tasks and described in the project backlog. This is a place, where the Product Owner can create a proper order of activities, which will be implemented by the Development Team. Azure DevOps board features provide a way to create Epics, Features, User Stories filled by Tasks etc. Here testers can also create Test-Case scenarios and report bugs or issues.

Azure Repos

Azure DevOps provides an access to unlimited, private GIT repositories – Azure Repos. GIT is one of the most popular versions of control systems, with full scope of features like branching, tagging or pull requesting which are covered by the build-in repos service inside Azure DevOps. External providers like GitHub, Bitbucket or GitLab can be used as source repositories of an application code, when a build pipeline will be created in the Azure DevOps.

 

Build pipelines

Information about the build pipeline setup is stored inside the GIT repository in a YAML file. When the file exists in the repository, we can start the configuration process of our new build, and Azure DevOps will automatically use a pre-defined pipeline stored as a code inside project repository. This feature is really great. When in the future someone will need to re-create the pipeline, all information is stored in one file, which can also be used as a some kind of a process documentation.

 

 

If the new project is configured, Azure DevOps project owner can use one of the pre-defined templates for build pipeline, and not only Microsoft solutions are supported:

 

When the build pipeline is ready, we can easily queue our build, and when completed, track building history on dedicated pane:

 

If something went wrong during the building process, all information will be available in the logs section inside the broken build. History pane shows also all additional information like the branch from which the code has been used for building, an icon adequate for the build status, and the unique number of the build from the solution.

 

Release pipelines

Release pipeline is a functionality which allow us to deploy our application to one or more destinations. Before we begin, we need to setup the correct service connections in the project settings pane. For example, if we want to deploy our web application to Azure App Service, we must configure service connection between Azure DevOps and Azure Resource Manager service. Part of the available service connections are shown below:

 

In the first step we can decide if we want to use one of the pre-defined stage templates, or if we want to start with an empty job and setup all the steps on our own. Available templates for the stages are for example:  “Azure App Service Deployment”, “Deploy to Kubernetes cluster” etc. Picture below shows a part of the pre-defined templates list:

A pipeline can be edited interactively. Every stage can be modified individually, and can consist of a set of tasks like: “Azure PowerShell” script execution, whole “Azure Resource Group Deployment” or even an interaction with Linux or macOS system by “Bash” script.

A sample of the release pipeline is shown below. As the artifacts source for a pipeline has been selected, the build is created in the previous step. We can of course create the release pipeline without an associated build. If our repository contains only scripts, which do not have to be build, we can set as an artifacts source the GIT repository directly.

 

***

This post is the 1st part in our Azure DevOps series. Check out the other posts:

#2: Web application development with .NET Core and Azure DevOps

#3: Azure Cosmos DB – Multi model, Globally Distributed Database Service

Blog

Stop murdering “Agile”, and be agile instead

“Agile Macabre” on techcamp.hamburg, Apr-2020 I’ve been leading projects since 2002, becoming a full-blown agilist around 2011. Not so long...

Blog

Make Work Better by Documentation

Sharing knowledge in a team is an ongoing challenge. Finding balance between writing documentation and keeping it up to date,...

Blog

How can you maximize the value from your data?

Your market is changing in faster and less predictable ways than ever before. Enterprises of all sizes suffer from data...

Get in Touch

Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.








Migrate to Azure & get 3 years support for SQL and Windows Server 2008. Check our special offer!

CATEGORIES

Uncategorized

Microsoft Azure extends support for both SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 that are quickly approaching their end of support:

  • Extended support for SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end on July 9, 2019.
  • Extended support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will end on January 14, 2020.

Extended security updates will be available for free in Azure for 2008 and 2008 R2 versions of SQL Server and Windows Server to help secure your workloads for three more years after the End of support deadlineThis means that Azure is an ideal place for older SQL and Windows servers. 

 

Here is how to make a business case out of migrating to Azure:

  • Azure costs: using reserved instances, hybrid benefits, rightsizing
  • Extended support cost if left as-is (20% of server license costs per year)
  • Free extended security updates
  • Azure also provides other excellent services for older servers, such as network micro-segmentation, automatic OS patches etc.

 

Migrate to Azure with Nordcloud, a Microsoft Azure Expert Managed Services Provider

Companies need to evaluate the workloads they have running and consider their options to avoid infrastructure and applications going unprotected, dramatically increasing risk to their IT operations. By migrating to Azure, Microsoft will provide extended security updates for Windows Server 2008 for an additional three years. That means protection for workloads plus ability to access the benefits Azure such as flexibility, cost reductions, reduced time to market and access to new services (such as PaaS, AI and ML).

Nordcloud, a Microsoft Azure Expert MSP, can help you to evaluate your workloads and ensure that you are selecting the best and more cost effective migration process for your at risk workloads.

 

We Discover – Migrate – Optimise – Manage

  • Discover: In depth discovery of 25 `VMWare’ hosts, enabling Nordcloud to provide cost analysis for running in Azure and a migration plan.
  • Migrate: Secure deployment of the required Azure infrastructure to ‘land’ your virtual machines. Once you have confirmed that everything is as it should be, Nordcloud conducts the final migration, allowing you to benefit from the security updates though to 2023.
  • Optimise: Once your applications are running smoothly in Azure, Nordcloud will start an optimisation process to ensure you are minimising your costs when running in Azure.
  • Manage: Nordclouds Managed Cloud Services team will manage the Azure infrastructure on your behalf, quickly resolving or escalating any issues that are detected.

Get our special offer with project details here

DOWNLOAD OUR OFFER – Migrate to Azure

You can also read about our migration services here or  contact us directly here.

Blog

Holding great responsibility

Get to know Johanna Kaihlavirta from Managed Cloud Applications team in Jyväskylä!

Blog

Short story of getting to Managed Cloud!

Let's discuss Managed Cloud thing with Jędrzej!

Blog

From Azure padawan to Azure knight

It is always better to learn around best practises and from Azure masters. So, this what Talent Acceleration Program at...

Get in Touch

Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.








Nordcloud Endorses the Quantum Software Manifesto

CATEGORIES

InsightsNews

Quantum Computing is the science and engineering that harnesses quantum mechanical effects to build computers and applications that can outperform all of current and even foreseeable classical computers in certain tasks.

 

The Quantum Software Manifesto calls increased attention for

  • quantum software research,
  • an integrated approach to quantum hardware and software research and development,
  • collaboration between industry and academia to identify real-world problems that can benefit from small, imperfect quantum computers and demonstrate quantum computing applications, and
  • educating more quantum programmers.

Nordcloud fully endorses the efforts to start the software revolution for quantum computing. As an organization that has built education as a strategic cornerstone, we are delighted to see the call for more quantum programmers and are providing opportunities for our own experts to learn these skills.

Nordcloud has a tradition in being the service provider for the most advanced technologies in computing and applications especially in the cloud. Our role as a service provider is to build expertise that ultimately realizes the value of technological innovations, and in the process creates vast numbers of highly skilled professionals. The first actions in upskilling our software development experts for the quantum world have already been taken and in line with the idea of the manifesto, we are committed in continuing these efforts.

 

Our hyperscale partners are investing massively into quantum computing

Our hyperscale partners Amazon, Google and Microsoft have for years put their faith in Nordcloud to bring their innovations into industrial use. Now as Google and Microsoft are investing massively into quantum computing, we want to be sure to be ready to bring this power to the market as well.

Since current and upcoming quantum computers are rare, expensive pieces of genius hardware, they are uniquely suited to be accessed only through the cloud. In addition to the mentioned hyperscalers, this can already be seen in the go-to-market model and services offered by IBM, Rigetti and D-Wave.

“While the market for quantum application development is still small, we feel that to continue at the forefront of the most important technologies, we want to be a forerunner with quantum computing. This will enable us to best serve our clients in the upcoming revolution and also provide exciting learning paths for our experts.”, Topias Uotila, VP

Blog

Time to rescue your data operations

The value created by data can fundamentally influence key areas of your business, from enabling, optimizing and steering key functions. ...

Blog

Nordcloud celebrates top spot worldwide for cloud services in the Magic Quadrant

Gartner has awarded Nordcloud the top cloud-native Managed Service Provider (MSP) for the execution of cloud Professional and Managed Services...

Blog

What it’s like to be a new hire during Covid-19

We all have been there before, the thrill of getting that call when your future manager makes the offer. You...

Get in Touch

Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.








Google Cloud Summit Stockholm

CATEGORIES

Events

Why Google Cloud Summit

Nordcloud invites you to Sweden’s premier Google Cloud event. At this free one-day event you will join thousands of cloud experts and enthusiasts to learn, explore and interact with the latest in cloud technologies.

Choose from a wide variety of sessions about the future of the cloud and get deep insights on how to:

  • Modernize IT infrastructure

Modern, cloud-based services can increase agility and fuel innovation. Learn how modern architectures can help you take advantage of the cloud’s benefits.

  • Accelerate application development.

Serverless tools help developers ship code faster and with fewer bugs. Learn how companies are building business value with new approaches to app development.

  • Rethink the way you manage data.

From cloud-native data warehousing to self-service AI, we now have the tools to stop thinking about how to manage data and start focusing on what we can do with it.

Onboard to Google Cloud with the most skilled Google Partner in the Nordic region. Nordcloud brings you the expertise of Google Cloud Premier Partner and Google Cloud MSP Partner with 40+ Google Cloud Professional Certified Cloud Architects and Data Engineers. You would naturally explore the benefits of Google Cloud for your company with us.

Date

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Location

Kistamässan
Arne Beurlings Torg 5
164 40 Kista

Time

9:00 AM – 6:40 PM
(Registration starts at 08.00 AM)

Register here!

Blog

Challenges of virtual workshops

In March 2020 I was supposed to give a full-day training about Google Cloud Platform fundamentals. Unfortunately two days before...

Blog

Meet us at Microsoft Ignite 2019

Explore the latest tools and technology – join Nordcloud at Microsoft Ignite in Orlando on November 4-8!

Blog

SaaS Business Model and Public Cloud are a Winning Combination for ISVs

Our experts have helped many ISVs to leverage cloud technologies to transition their business from that of a traditional software...

Get in Touch

Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.