Yes, Containers Can Be Easy to Create and Deploy, at Scale

by | Oct 14, 2020

If you’re an IT professional, you’ve most likely heard about containers or have been using them within the last five years. In reality, container technology has been around for more than twice that time. Containers can help reduce costs, improve quality, increase productivity, and expand the use of cloud services within your organization.

The use of containers is increasing far greater than expected. According to research firm Gartner, Inc., more than 70% of global organizations will be running more than two containerized applications in production by 2023, compared to fewer than 20% in 2019. Yes, that’s a 50% increase in just four years.

Clearly, the value is there. The challenge, however, can be in building containers—which can come with a learning curve. Luckily, there’s an easier way to get there.

Before we dive into the details of how to create containers more quickly and easily, let’s step back for a refresher on the technology. A container is an entire application runtime environment—including the application as well as its dependencies, libraries, configuration files, and all other code needed to run—bundled together into a single package. The value in a container lies in its ability to run “above” or abstracted from the underlying infrastructure and operating system.

Based on this, it’s easy to understand how creating and becoming experts on containers can be time-consuming, particularly if you’re creating many containerized applications within a large and diverse environment. To help ease this burden, CVP offers a 3-tier container Starter Kit that helps customers understand how to use containers and, most importantly, build and deploy containers at scale.

The starter kit is a completely functioning 3-tier web application with a React frontend, Node.js api using Nest.js, and PostgreSQL backend. It contains all the necessary Docker files for building the containers as well as a docker-compose file for local development which properly configures the environment (network, environment variables, etc.) and runs the containers locally. Simply put the starter kit demonstrates how easy it is to containerize any web application as well as leverage pre-built, in this case PostgreSQL, container images to accelerate development and productivity.

Traditionally, a developer will spend several days installing all the necessary software, libraries, plugins, extensions, etc., required to set up a local development environment. With the Starter Kit, all the “plumbing” is included; the development team can develop, build, and deploy containers in a matter of minutes, rather than a few days.

Recently, CVP did an extensive test of the Starter Kit through our College New Hire Bootcamp. We recruited our newest college hires to run the Starter Kit through its paces. First, we conducted a hack-a-thon so the new college hires could find bugs and/or anomalies within the Kit. Second, the teams were tasked with using the Starter Kit to build out a real customer application.

The teams went through an entire Agile process, including a simulated two-week sprint that involved gathering requirements from mock stakeholders, working with mock Product Owners, and going through all the stages they would go through with actual customers. Next, they had three days to design, build, test, and implement containerized applications, as well as present a demo to the executive team.

The program was a resounding success. The Starter Kit helped each team member dramatically; several were able to create their applications in a matter of minutes rather than days or weeks. And, the new college hires are now successfully prepared to move onto their first project.

The entire process was a proverbial win-win for everyone—particularly IT professionals who will choose to use the Starter Kit to accelerate building containerized applications.

To get going with your own starter kit now, take a look at CVP’s bootcamp starter kit found here:

Be sure to check out our next blog post! We will build off of this one and demonstrate how to deploy and orchestrate the Starter Kit containers at scale using Kubernetes.

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