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VMworld EU 2015 Buzz: Panel: Enterprise Architecture for Cloud Native Applications – CNA5379

October 29th, 2015

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld Europe 2015 coverage:

2015-10-14 11.01.25EMEA CTO Joe Baguley led the discussions with Martijn Baecke, Aaron Sweemer, Chris Sexsmith and Robbie Jerrom all from VMware which was to highlight VMware’s vision for next generation application development and hosting. The chat went through micro-services, 12 factor apps and how they could be deployed using PaaS and/or containers.

HA & FT are no longer needed. No resilience in infrastructure is required but pushed to the developers to create. This then becomes everyone’s responsibility to coordinate which isn’t an easy thing to do, I see more passing the buck!

There was some background on how agile makes things faster.

There was an interesting discussion for a typical use case for enterprise applications in that there’s no way you can make the entire application cloud native. There may be backend databases for example or even customer records on a mainframe which will never reach the cloud native world. Joe mentioned he is seeing a lot of traction for changing the middle of a 3 tier app so not messing with the back-end or the front end but breaking apart all the middleware into microservices to make them more efficient. Going cloud native for an application doesn’t have to mean going all in.

There was a questions about how small the microservices should be. Answer was depends (of course). This reminded me of the talk on Day 0 when it was suggested using business logic as a boundary for a microservice.

2015-10-14 12.28.40Question about how close Dev and Ops should work together and Devs understanding of infrastructure. Answer was traditional IT can’t serve the needs of the developers at the moment so infrastructure needs to build a common platform to support both. VMware wants infrastructure to be able to offer microservices as a service. This means developers can come to IT and ask for as many microservices as they need (via API) without having the provisioning time associated with traditional VMs which require approval, enterprise architectures need to evolve.

Interesting discussion about state and containers. If you are doing transactional workloads for example to move money, what happens when a container die? Sure you can spin up another container but the transaction information that was held in the now dead container is lost. A watchdog service to, well, watch the container system is required which will have stateful information to have a state of record to roll back and forward transactions. Something developers also need to understand with cloud native and container apps.

How to transition enterprise customers? Many have about 100s applications, answer was a journey, a step by step approach.

Importance of CI/CD to be able to test effectiveness of change.

Management of applications.containers at scale has to be automated.

Joe Baguley came up with what he’s calling Baguley’s Law: All IT problems as they get bigger become people problems! (nicked from Godwin’s Law)

Was generally a useful session although as usual some questions set off tangents that weren’t particularly interesting to me (but hopefully others).

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