DevOps is quickly becoming fundamental for businesses in all sectors. Simply put, it is a practical “ways of working” extension to agile, enabling rapid software delivery. By moving the development and operations functions more closely together we can foster a strong focus on ownership, stream-aligned autonomy, and ongoing monitoring.
Containerization is a key enabler of the DevOps movement
Containerization is the practice of wrapping software and its associated configuration into a virtual “container”. Contained applications have a key guarantee that you cannot easily replicate without them: they are the same no matter whether you are running them on a developer laptop, in your UAT environment or in production. This aids repeatability and removes the possibility of human error during configuration.
Containers in public clouds
Many cloud providers have first-class support for containers, and AWS (Amazon Web Services) is no exception! Their offering, Elastic Container Service (ECS) allows software teams to define the minimum number of copies of a given application, as well as how to restart it if it fails. This leaves operations teams with less overhead, leaving them more time to work on adding value.
In New Zealand, there are several pieces of legislation that concern data and privacy. Some stipulate that data must be stored onshore. Unfortunately for Kiwi businesses, hyper-scale cloud providers like Azure, AWS and Google do not operate onshore - Australia is the closest region available.
Because of such data privacy laws, ECS has essentially been unusable for New Zealand businesses. Until now.
Introducing ECS Anywhere
AWS recently launched ECS Anywhere, an extension to ECS, allowing businesses to run the ECS tools on their own hardware within their on-premises data centre here in New Zealand.
This is massive for Kiwi businesses looking to make use of containers as part of their DevOps toolchain. While Kubernetes has enabled this for a while, there is often a large operational overhead to running a best-practice cluster. For operations teams on their journey with the cloud, this presents a far simpler option, with a far less onerous configuration overhead.
From a user’s perspective, DevOps teams should notice no difference in the usability of applications, but from a compliance and regulatory standpoint it opens a whole new world of possibilities. The potential of DevOps has been floating around for some time, and releases like this are just what we need to start seeing such benefits become reality.
At Jade, we are always looking for ways to challenge the status quo in New Zealand (or anywhere for that matter). If you are interested in talking more about this, reach out!
Tom Hallam is the Director of Technology at Jade Software, and has a background in solutions architecture and organizational design, with a strong focus on agile ways of working and leading DevOps methodologies.