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Three Cloud Native Must-Haves for Your Enterprise Software Portfolio

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Adopt cloud native in the way that best meets your own specific business objectives while maintaining choice and flexibility for your future.

Transitioning to cloud native can be daunting to wrap your mind around – even more so if you’re keeping the entire enterprise portfolio in mind. You might be thinking:

  • Where do we start?
  • Do we have the expertise?
  • What cloud do we use?
  • What’s our roadmap?
  • Will we ever get there?

Develop a cloud-native strategy that combines a technical platform rooted in the most widely adopted cloud-native technologies, with the choice and flexibility that allow you to adopt cloud native in a way that best meets your specific business objectives

Here are the top three must-haves for your cloud native journey.

# 1: Cloud Choice

It’s critical when going cloud native to have choice and flexibility. Choice not only in selecting the cloud vendor (or in-house IT), but also the flexibility to implement the IT environment that makes sense for your portfolio.

You’ll need enterprise software products that are containerized, with Helm charts, to configure and install the containers onto Kubernetes. These technology choices give you immediate and extensive benefits from any cloud platform – public, private, or hybrid. Products can be quickly deployed, using Helm install, with complete configuration, to give consistent and repeatable installations. Software updates are applied with Helm update, again making the process quick, easy, and consistent. Kubernetes provides consistent orchestration, with automatic container restarts and horizontal scaling for all products.

Look for enterprise software where cloud native support is architected and tested to run on any Kubernetes platform. This could be the Kubernetes provided by a major public cloud vendor, such as Google Kubernetes Engine or Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service, or an on premises local cloud like Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, any of the smaller Kubernetes providers, or even the open-source Kubernetes deployed in a data center.

This will give you complete freedom of choice when deciding where to run your software. If costs or requirements change, it is simple to move to the Kubernetes platform of a different provider. Sometimes there are good reasons to spread workloads across multiple clouds; look for solutions that make this possible with portable common services.

# 2: Portability

Related to cloud choice is portability. The ability to “lift and shift” offers you control over the future and gives you the freedom to not become dependent on any single architecture or vendor. You need product containers packaged with common services. Delivering these services with the products provides easy movement across cloud vendors and between your in-house operations and the cloud hosting service; this removes the need to bind installations to vendor-specific services like monitoring or retaining vendor independence, and thus, secures portability of the whole deployment.

Look for applications that provide simplified access to the underlying Kubernetes resources, product log files, and more, making it easy to get started with Kubernetes regardless of which cloud platform is used.

# 3: Self Service and Ease of Use

Ease of use is a universal goal for all technology offerings. If it’s not easy, it won’t be used. When you make the cloud easy to use, the more flexibility you’ll have, the faster the business benefits. Look for solutions that are mainstream in the cloud-native world and already proven for large-scale production use.

Partner with industry experts and providers that have a depth of software in modern, cloud native formats and REST APIs. This approach simplifies and accelerates software deployment in preparation for integration of services among products, creation of new solutions, or other innovation endeavors.

In Summary

A could native strategy allows an organization to realize business benefits using public, private and hybrid cloud resources. Cloud resources can be used in different ways to achieve varying business objectives, including reducing infrastructure costs, achieving faster application updates, and meeting data location requirements.

Stay cloud-agnostic and remain free to run your software on any cloud, public or private.  This flexibility allows easy migration across cloud providers, to quickly benefit from lower costs, to meet requirements from individual end users, to implement a multi-cloud strategy and more.

To learn more, check out my blog, Why take an enterprise software portfolio cloud native? and visit the HCL Software booth at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2021.


Author: Dr. Alex Mulholland, Platform Chief Architect, HCL Software
Bio: Alex is the Platform Chief Architect for HCL Software, leading the SoFy project and helping to guide the cloud native strategy for the HCL Software organization. Previously, she was the Chief Architect of WebSphere Liberty at IBM. Alex has a passion for making enterprise software do great things in very simple ways. She lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband Martin.

To hear more about cloud native topics, join the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and cloud native community at KubeCon+CloudNativeCon North America 2021 – October 11-15, 2021
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