Containers Create "A Multitude Of Business Opportunities" For Channel Partners

The proliferation of application containers throughout the data center is driving opportunities for partners who are proficient in enabling enterprises to modernize traditional applications with the technology, Bradley Brodkin, CEO of Toronto-based HighVail Systems, told his peers Wednesday at The NexGen 2017 Conference & Technology Expo in Los Angeles.

Containers open up a world of possibilities for enterprises, creating new revenue sources to the solution providers who service them, Brodkin said in a conference session he delivered on containers.

"It’s a multitude of business opportunities for you," Brodkin said. "That’s what we see in our business."

[Related: VMware's Big Vision: Deliver Any Application, On Any Device On Any Cloud]

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HighVail partnered with Docker about a year ago to drive its container practice, which has largely focused on financial services and public sector customers. Containers deliver those customers unprecedented application portability and modularity, while facilitating DevOps practices within IT teams, he said.

While the benefits of containers are manifold, including better storage efficiency and uptimes, "application portability is probably the big key to all of it," Brodkin told NexGen attendees.

Customers are looking for partners who can help transform their infrastructure to enable free movement of applications.

Modularity is another significant advantage of container-based application architectures, he said.

Applications can be split up into microservices—a database in one container, a front-end in another—that's easier to build, deploy and manage.

Then automated development processes come into the picture, such as continuous integration/continuous deployment, he said.

CI/CD brings the customer into the world of DevOps, which is "really a mindset," Brodkin said.

"It’s a way of thinking verses a set of processes we implement in a specific way," he told NexGen attendees.

The result of merging software development and operations teams through DevOps practices and tooling is an improvement in the "quality and speed at which innovation is delivered," he said.

"The development guys actually run what it is they develop. The operations guys are responsible for delivering them the infrastructure they run on."

DevOps changes the entire approach to delivering software.

"In this new world of DevOps, you're not delivering a full product, but a minimum viable product, and once that hits the customer you continue to evolve it," he told NexGen attendees.

And in that new world, "infrastructure truly is code," Brodkin told his peers.

"Everything is software today. Hardware is irrelevant. It truly is commoditized," he said.