When it comes to managing IT, most DevOps teams are locked in an eternal struggle to balance innovation with reliability. There’s always a keen interest in being able to take advantage of the latest and greatest IT platform. However, new IT platforms don’t achieve the level of maturity required to build and deploy mission-critical applications overnight. Enterprise IT organizations often build an application on one platform and deploy it on another platform that is perceived to be more reliable.
But a global survey of 505 IT and other executives published by the Cloud Foundry Foundation (CFF) suggests that, at a time when adoption of microservices based on containers and serverless computing frameworks is rising, the need to strike a balance between innovation and reliability has never been more acute.
Conducted by ClearPath Strategies on behalf of the CFF, the survey finds serverless usage and container usage are now at 14% and 37% respectively. At the same time, adoption of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environments such as Cloud Foundry has increased to 47% from 41% in the last six months.
The study also suggests the rate at which organizations are adopting serverless computing and containers is starting to plateau. However, organizations that have adopted serverless computing frameworks and containers are making greater use of these capabilities as they continue to mature, according to the survey results.
CFF CTO Chip Childers said it’s not uncommon for organizations now to deploy a PaaS and Kubernetes platforms alongside each other. In some cases, applications built using containers on a Cloud Foundry PaaS will be deployed on a Kubernetes run-time at the network edge. In other cases, applications built using development frameworks running on Kubernetes will be deployed on a Cloud Foundry PaaS that is perceived to be more reliable.
Of course, the percentage of organizations that are employing a PaaS environment is not nearly as high as those using a less opinionated framework for building applications. However, whatever the path chosen, Childers said multiple types of abstractions that simplify IT complexity will live alongside one another for many years to come. At the same time, the underlying technologies that enable those abstractions increasingly will converge. For example, the Cloud Foundry PaaS was built before Kubernetes existed. Now the CFF is moving toward replacing much of the Cloud Foundry substrate with Kubernetes.
According to the survey results, 65% of respondents place the most value on a platform that delivers a consistent experience. However, 59% also said a platform that integrates innovations is of the greatest value to their ability to develop software applications. In addition, almost two-thirds (63%) said a technology’s ability to integrate with their environment is the “touchstone” that makes technology better.
As is often the case, what constitutes a touchstone is in the eye of the beholder. However, DevOps teams are not likely to sacrifice reliability no matter how cool that next big thing in IT may or may not be.