Four compelling reasons to use Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

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Management overhead, inflexibility and lack of automation all stifle application development. Containers help by moving applications and their dependencies between environments, and Kubernetes orchestrates containerisation effectively.

But there’s another piece to the puzzle.

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is the best way to simplify and streamline Kubernetes so you can scale your app development with real confidence and agility.

Read on to discover more key benefits and why AKS is the advanced technology tool you need to supercharge your IT department, drive business growth and give your company a competitive edge over its rivals.

Why worry about the complexity of container orchestration, when you can use AKS?

1. Accelerated app development

75 percent of developer’s time is typically spent on bug-fixing. AKS removes much of the time-sink (and headache) of debugging by handling the following aspects of your development infrastructure:

  • Auto upgrades
  • Patching
  • Self-healing

Through AKS, container orchestration is simplified, saving you time and enabling your developers to remain more productive. It’s a way to breathe life into your application development by combatting one of developer’s biggest time-sinks.

2. Supports agile project management

As this PWC report shows, agile projects yield strong results and are typically 28 percent more successful than traditional projects.

This is another key benefit to AKS – it supports agile development programs, such as continuous integration (CI), continuous delivery/continuous deployment (CD) and dev-ops. This is done through integration with Azure DevOps, ACR, Azure Active Directory and Monitoring. An example of this is a developer who puts a container into a repository, moves the builds into Azure Container Registry (ACR), and then uses AKS to launch the workload.

3. Security and compliance done right

Cyber security must be a priority for all businesses moving forward. Last year, almost half of UK businesses suffered a cyber-attack and, according to IBM’s study, 60 percent of data breaches were caused by insiders. The threat is large, and it often comes from within.

AKS protects your business by enabling administrators to tailor access to Azure Active Directory (AD) and identity and group identities. When people only have the access they need, the threat from internal teams is greatly reduced.

You can also rest assured that AKS is totally compliant. AKS meets the regulatory requirements of System and Organisation Controls (SOC), as well as being compliant with ISO, HIPAA and HITRUST.

4. Use only the resources you need

AKS is a fully flexible system that adapts to use only the resources you need. Additional processing power is supported via graphic processing units (GPUs) – processor intensive operations, such as scientific computations, enables on-top processing power. If you need more resources, it’s as simple as clicking a button and letting the elasticity of Azure container instances do the rest.

When you only use the resources you need, your software (and your business) enjoys the following benefits:

  • Reduced cost – no extra GPUs need to be bought and integrated onsite.
  • Faster start-up speed compared to onsite hardware and software which takes time to set-up.
  • Easier scaling – get more done now without worrying about how to manage resources.

Scale at speed with AKS

The world of applications moves fast. For example, 6140 Android apps were released in the first quarter of 2018 alone. Ambitious companies can’t afford the risk of slowing down. Free up time and simplify the application of containerisation by implementing AKS and take your software development to the next level.

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.

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

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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.

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