Johann Els, open source specialist at SUSE South Africa.

Johann Els, open source specialist at SUSE South Africa.

Accelerated container adoption and application security are some of the trends that will continue to shape the DevOps industry this year.

This is according to Johann Els, open source specialist at SUSE South Africa, speaking on the sidelines of the ITWeb/ SUSE Expert Days event held in Johannesburg recently.

Els discussed the significant role that DevOps plays in how businesses evolve and absorb innovation, to ensure that they can deliver code faster and safer, without compromising quality.

In the advent of digital transformation, he explained, application development teams are pressured to deliver software faster than ever and containers enable a continuous delivery environment, requiring speed and agility in deployment.

Container technologies aim to resolve the problem of how to get software to run reliably when moved from one computing environment to another. Containers hold the components necessary to run the desired software, such as files, environment variables and libraries, enabling a much more agile environment and facilitating new approaches and continuous integration and delivery.

As container adoption increases, security has come to the forefront, Els asserted.

"Everything is going the containerisation route now as containers provide the capability of scalability. The top security concern globally for container environments is the security of data stored in containers. Scalability allows a system to handle increases in load without impact on performance and this must be accommodated by good security to ensure that the developed code is trusted within the organisation."

In view of the Protection of Personal Information Act and the recent implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation, organisations need to ensure that the data or processes handled in their containers are in compliance with these laws, which require a layered security approach to protect sensitive data from compromise, he continued.

Joachim Werner, senior product manager at SUSE, discussed the company's product portfolio aimed at helping customers speed application delivery. These include SUSE Container as a Service (CAAS) Platform, the SUSE Cloud Application Platform and the SUSE OpenStack Cloud.

"The SUSE CAAS Platform is an enterprise-class container management solution that enables IT and DevOps professionals to more easily deploy, manage, and scale container-based applications and services. As a result, enterprises can reduce application delivery cycle times and improve their business agility," explains Werner.

A Forrester study found that 66% of organisations who adopted containers experienced accelerated developer efficiency, while 75% of companies achieved a moderate to significant increase in application deployment speed.

"As development and operations teams deliver software without the hassle of constantly reconfiguring infrastructure, they save time and cut costs," notes Forrester.

"Not only have we introduced the CAAS Platform to help end users with quickly getting up to speed with a highly scalable and manageable container infrastructure, we're also using containers, running on that very CAAS Platform, as the delivery mechanism for our own higher-level platform as a service offering," noted Werner.

Once an organisation has chosen to use containers and deploy application stacks as micro services, soon a container orchestration tool is needed to handle the dependencies between containers and provide a high degree of automation and orchestration, he continued.

"That's where SUSE CAAS Platform shines with its salt-based installation workflow and automated, transactional update of the kubernetes nodes running SUSE MicroOS," he concluded.