Last month we talked about the importance of the platform layer from an enterprise CIO perspective and discussed how OpenShift is helping accelerate enterprise innovation. The platform abstraction offered by OpenShift, completely masking the underlying complexity, helps both developers and operations in terms of efficiency, empowering organizations to innovate rapidly and compete in today’s fast-moving global business. A platform offering like OpenShift brings IT Operations, traditionally seen as a roadblock to innovation, into a part of the core innovation team. The advantage OpenShift offers in terms of innovation makes the platform very attractive for CIOs and IT managers across many different verticals. In this post, we will dig a bit deeper and see how OpenShift accelerates innovation inside the enterprise.
The use of containers with docker packaging format in OpenShift optimizes resource usage, freeing up IT resources for further innovation. The resource advantage offered by OpenShift is not just about increased density of applications on a virtual machine/bare-metal server (cost savings), but it is also about speeding up resource consumption (agility). The containers underneath OpenShift can be launched in few seconds compared to hypervisor-based virtual machines which usually take several minutes. In the past, such slow resource procurement worked because the traditional application development and consumption models allowed for such slow-paced IT environments. However, in today’s modern IT, it is a big drag on developer productivity and end user experience. The use of containers, based on docker packaging format, greatly reduces this impact on developer productivity and user experience, helping to accelerate innovation.
The key to successful platform abstraction lies in the large scale automation under the covers. OpenShift 3 uses the Kubernetes open source project for orchestration and management of containers. The automation provided by Kubernetes and other components in OpenShift allows IT operations to be more agile and operate more efficiently at scale. The underlying automation also reduces human-induced errors, making OpenShift 3 an ideal platform for IT wanting to be a part of core innovation team. Automation ensures that CIOs can use the freed up human resources for accelerating innovation rather than firefighting.
The cloud computing model ushered in operational efficiency but it put additional burden on developers using just the cloud infrastructure as the application deployment platform. Developers were required to understand IT operations in order to make their applications resilient to the unpredictability of the underlying cloud infrastructure. The model worked very well for startups in Silicon Valley as it was easier for them to find developers with operations knowledge than it was elsewhere. Not only are such specialized developers difficult to hire, it is also prohibitively expensive to hire them. Such a requirement defeats any cost advantage offered by the cloud infrastructure.
The abstraction at the platform layer, where all the components needed for application deployment are automated and the complexity abstracted away, helps developers focus on producing code to meet the business needs, instead of struggling with operational tasks. When this advantage is combined with the fact that developers get a self-service interface for faster resource provisioning, it is easy to see how developer efficiency increases significantly with a platform like OpenShift. OpenShift helps IT organizations maintain the clear separation of roles between developers and operations and thereby maximize the benefits of moving to the cloud.
The cloud computing model offers certain operational efficiencies, but IT organizations are expected to embrace DevOps to maximize the benefits of using cloud. DevOps is a culture of collaboration between developers and operations in order to accelerate innovation. If we look back and analyze the problems facing the traditional IT organizations, the main reason for the friction between developers and operations was due to the fact that an application that worked well in the development environment failed in the production. This lead to finger pointing and a lingering mistrust between them. When organizations try to embrace DevOps while using the cloud infrastructure as their application deployment platform, they risk the very same problems and it could impact the collaboration between the developers and operations.
In order to maximize the benefits of DevOps, CIOs should consider using PaaS because the standardization offered by a platform like OpenShift can significantly reduce the friction between developers and operations. This standardization ensures that the deployment pipeline from development to production is completely streamlined, maximizing the DevOps benefits for the organization. This is another important factor in bringing IT Operations to be part of the core innovation team.
Don’t Pass on PaaS
In this post, we have highlighted the compelling reasons for CIOs to consider a platform like OpenShift 3 as they go about building a modern enterprise platform. It is not just about efficient resource usage and making developers agile, it is also about IT Operations efficiency and DevOps efficiency which brings IT Operations as a part of the core innovation team. With OpenShift 3, CIOs are in a position to help drive innovation in their organization than just be a gatekeeper of IT inventory. In other words, a platform like OpenShift 3 helps CIOs become Chief Innovation Officer in their organization. Are you ready for a title change? Come talk to us.