Container LifeCycle Management Best Practices

For a highly automated and seamless application delivery pipeline, organizations need to complement container orchestration with other automation tools, such as infrastructure-as-code (IaC) products. These include Chef, Puppet, Ansible and Terraform. They also require application release automation tools (see “Magic Quadrant for Application Release Orchestration”). Although there’s overlap between these tools and the CaaS products (see Note 1), they are more complementary than competitive today. Containers also present the potential for sprawl similar to what existed with virtual machine (VM) deployments; thus, I&O must have tooling and processes for life cycle management of containers.Recommendations:

  • Establish standards for container base images, taking into account image size, developer flexibility to add components and licensing.
  • Use container-aware configuration management systems to manage the life cycle of container images, which are often constructed and layered on top of existing base images in private or public repositories.
  • Integrate the CaaS platform with application automation tools, particularly if you have already invested in them, to automate the entire application workflow.