Virtualization Technology News and Information
'One Architecture' for Kubernetes Takes Application Delivery to the Next Level

By David Hallinan

Not long ago, it was the norm for software vendors to maintain both an on-prem and SaaS version of their application - a complicated, heavy-lift that required significant, disparate engineering time and immense cost. Since then, technologies like Kubernetes and Docker have changed the application landscape for the better with containerization and increased portability. The one architecture concept built on these innovations is the next inventive step to creating the most efficient, cost-effective, and customer-centric application delivery for your company regardless of the end environment.

The Methodology

‘One architecture' is simple: a software vendor can build and maintain a single Kubernetes app and deliver it to any customer, whether it's on-prem, multi-prem, SaaS, etc. In the past, software vendors may have been forced to have separate engineering teams maintain a modern app for cloud distribution as well as a monolith for enterprise customers who had not adopted Kubernetes yet. Using one architecture for the app, a single team of engineers can simultaneously build and maintain one application and target both distributions.

"Everyone understands that a single code base is better. One architecture is a clearer way of describing it," shared Marc Campbell, CTO of Replicated. "With one code base, you could argue that packaging it into a VM versus a big service is still the same fundamental code, but they're just different architectures. It's a monolith versus multiple distributed microservices."

And for those who still believe on-prem is a dying art, think again! A Dimensional Research survey sponsored by Replicated involving 405 commercial software vendors across five continents found on-prem and cloud spending is keeping pace. In fact, ninety-two percent of companies report on-prem software sales are growing and that customer demand for on-prem software equaled that of public cloud offerings.

"This allows you to say ‘yes' to so many more customers, regardless of the environment they require," Campbell said.

Born from a Challenge

When Google created Kubernetes and made it open-source, they clearly outlined the value it would have.  This included autoscaling all customer requests on-demand, bin packing to save on infrastructure costs, and a standard API that every enterprise, software vendor, developer, and IT admin, knows how to use quickly. They knew application distribution and management was affecting many software vendors' bottom line, with complex systems set up to manage hundreds of different services, databases, and internal systems for each customer. For example, a recent post from uptech outlined costs for building a multi-platform app can range into six figures and take nearly 3,000 hours to develop.

"But with Kubernetes, it wasn't a challenge anymore. You can send this complex, multi-tenant SaaS application to your customer, and they can run it without having to understand it, bootstrap it, and orchestrate it," Campbell shared. "Kubernetes apps with one architecture is simply the next step that allows you to provide both cloud and on-prem versions of your software with no additional work required."

The Benefits

There are two core benefits for software vendors who design Kubernetes applications with one architecture. The first is if you're already shipping a multi-tenant Kubernetes application, it doesn't require any extra work to ship into enterprise on-prem environments, opening a vast business opportunity to go beyond just cloud and SaaS.  You don't have to think about how you'll simplify it or rearchitect for these enterprise solutions; it's all updated simultaneously.

The second is that you don't have to plan for architecture changes down the road because you're already packing up those migrations in Kubernetes. If you decide three months from now to reshape something, you don't have to do anything additional than what you're already doing to the cloud application.

Of course, the underlying effects of these benefits also include time and cost savings, application stability, and a holistic engineering team, all focused on the future and broadening the company's business value and potential new markets for your software.

The Takeaways

If you're already using Kubernetes, one architecture is an intelligent move with many open-source options and practical application info available. For companies that want to ship software to multi-prem environments, open-source tools like Kubernetes and cloud-native computing resources let you automate the process and achieve one architecture today.


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      


David Hallinan Director of Content, Replicated

David Hallinan 

David Hallinan is currently the Director of Content at Replicated. Formerly a JavaScript instructor for the University of California at Berkeley, he enjoys painting, vintage synths, drum machines, and forcing his sports allegiances on his children.

Published Tuesday, October 05, 2021 7:30 AM by David Marshall
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