Struggling with software development? Why containers are the answer

Wali Naderi
20 Jul 2021
4 min read
Struggling with software development? Why containers are the answer
Modern businesses are built on a complex mix of applications, systems and processes. Integrating these technologies is a complex task – made even more challenging the larger the company. In fact conservative estimates suggest that 39% of IT costs are spent on software and integration, according to research. That’s an incredible percentage when you think about it. But why is application development so costly?
 
Most of the modern application development involves combination of different technologies. This leads the application development to be linked and dependent to the underlying technologies and their respective versions. So, when a code is being deployed in another environment, like Test, Acceptance or Production, it often runs into bugs or errors due to changes in underlying technologies and their respective versions. The problem can be further exacerbated by infrastructural issues such as different OS and hardware.
 
In the times of rapid iteration and releases, businesses cannot afford to waste time in streamlining different production environments.
 
This is where containers come to the rescue.

Containerization to the rescue

Containers are lightweight software component that packages the application and all its dependencies. The application can then be built, run and deployed on any environment without any issues since everything required to run the application is stored within the container.
 
Containers make modern software delivery simpler and more predictable since it provides a consistent deployment environment that can be used at all stages of the delivery pipeline. Applications running in containers can be deployed easily to multiple, different container platforms and cloud providers.
 
It also provides a better way to build more resilient software and inject unprecedented levels of flexibility and agility into enterprise applications.
 
Some other benefits of containers include:
  • Containers are more efficient and use fewer resources
  • Containers can be integrated with different environments and provide agility to developers
  • Containers provide improved security by isolating applications and systems from each other
  • Containers provide flexibility to work on virtualized infrastructures or on bare metal servers
According to the 2019 Container Adoption Survey, the top three reasons for using container technologies are enhanced development speed and efficiency (37%), increased agility (20%), and the ability to run on various cloud platforms (19%).  
Using containers, enterprises can modernize legacy applications and create new cloud-native applications that are both scalable and agile. In fact, containerizing monolithic applications using microservices can help development teams to bring agility, create functionality with its own life cycle, cost controls and scaling policies.

Combine containers microservices to simplify app development

Simply put, microservices is an architectural approach to building applications where pieces of an application work independently – but ultimately together. The use of microservices has been increasing over the years not only among larger companies but also in smaller companies. According to a survey conducted by O’Reilly among its subscribers in 2020, more than three-fifths (61%) of the respondents were using microservices for a year or more. 
 
While a microservices architecture allows a single application to be composed of many loosely coupled and independently deployable smaller components, or services. It allows developers to focus on updating specific areas of an application without impacting it as a whole, resulting in faster development, testing, and deployment.
 
Some of the top benefits respondents associated with microservices are feature flexibility, responding quickly to changing technology and business requirements, and more frequent code refreshes among others. The respondents of the survey also mentioned that the use of containers is one of the strongest predictors of success with microservices.
 
When used together, microservices and containerization perform well.
 
A microservice developed within a container gains all of the benefits of containerization - portability in terms of the development process and vendor compatibility (no vendor lock-in), as well as developer agility, fault isolation, server efficiencies, automation of installation, scaling and management, and layers of security, among others.

A Complete Solution

Tridion’s content delivery platform is called Dynamic Experience Delivery, or DXD in short. It consists of standalone microservices that enable publishing of content to any touchpoint. Each of these microservices has a particular capability and provides flexibility to allocate physical or virtual processor cores as per the requirement.
Benefits of Tridion containerized content delivery include:
  • The scalability required to match the ever increasing publishing volumes while optimizing the use of hardware resources
  • Help to automate the delivery of multi-lingual content in desired formats for both online and document / file delivery
  • Option to query any information source through the Tridion Integration Framework and combine content with other data as part of the output process
  • Ability to publish from a single-source, eliminating copying and cloning the content
  • Reach customers on any channel, mash up content from various sources and improve content discovery
 
In short, Tridion’s containerized content delivery system offers a one stop solution for optimized global content delivery.
 
Microservices and containerization have brought a sea of change in terms of how applications are built and deployed across not only large, but also small organisations. Microservices on its own can be complex but using containers for deployment helps in minimizing the complexity. Tridion containerized content delivery offers a precise and flexible solution to not only publish content from a single source but also to deliver content in multiple formats and languages, resource and cost effectively and with the desired performance.
 
For more details on containerization of Tridion Content Delivery, read our technical paper here.