We have a great guest post for you today.  Everyone knows that containers are fantastic for new cloud native applications.  But what about the huge numbers of existing applications in the enterprise?  Can these also “become cloud native” too?  Please welcome Jim McBride from Enteon, whose team have been working on cracking this problem using Weave Net.  Oh and they are announcing a new open source project so that you can do this too.

Please also checkout previous post by Enteon, which covers how they were using Weave to help cross ‘The Divide’ between the legacy enterprise and the container-centric future.

— Ilya

The Problem

Enterprise organizations are consistently challenged to react more quickly to demands from their business partners.  The bar has been raised considerably in the past several years as the CEO and board of directors have been exposed to Cloud Native applications in their daily lives with their smart phones and the websites that we all know and use on a daily basis.

They now expect the enterprise CIO to be able to provide a similarly seamless, elastic and agile experience.  

Most CIO’s have some sort of DevOps initiatives underway in pursuit of these qualities – and are falling short as they learn that containers, while amazingly powerful and efficient – are not necessarily a  natural progression for their teams.  There is a lot for their teams to learn and become proficient at in this space as the technology shifts to micro-services-centric architectures.  

And what about legacy, mode-1 type applications that aren’t destined for a micro-services future?

Today I am going to tell you about a solution to these issues and an open source project we have launched to establish this capability.

Watch this

What just happened?

So you just saw a Cloud Native VM (cnvm) moving “live” around the world from a VMware private cloud in St. Louis Missouri, USA to Google’s cloud in Belgium.

In the video you see the cnvm deploy to VMware in the States, we log into it and install some software, and then live-migrate to Europe.

Really?

Yes.  We’ve created a Cloud Native VM leveraging Docker and Weave, and we moved it across the planet without turning it off, without losing connectivity.

Cloud Native VMs Primary Features Are:

  • Cloud-Agnostic
  • Portable
  • Open

Cloud Agnostic:

Cloud Native VMs can be deployed on any hypervisor or bare metal provider.  VMware, Microsoft HyperV, Xen, KVM.  You choose one, some, or all, cnvms are not restricted to any vendor’s hypervisor or bare metal offering.

Cloud Native VMs can be deployed into any cloud provider.  Choose between cloud providers like: Amazon, Google, Microsoft Azure, VCloud Air, cnvms are not restricted to any cloud provider or by a cloud provider’s proprietary features.

Portable:

Cloud Native VMs are mobile.  Migrate cnvms between private and public clouds.  For example, cnvms running on VMware in your East Coast datacenter, can be migrated to your VMware cluster running in your West Coast datacenter or they be moved from your datacenter to an Amazon AWS cloud presence.

Today, vendors offer offer VM migrations to like-for-like hypervisors as a licensed feature, but cnvms provide the same capability without the like-for-like restrictions.  Public to private, Public to Public, HyperV to Xen to VMware, and every combination in between.  You have the choice.

Take snapshots of your running cnvms and restore them when/where you like, and they maintain a consistent network identity thanks to Weave.

Open:

Cloud Native VMs are built on, of and from open-source.  Intentionally open to avoid affinity for a particular infrastructure or cloud vendor ecosystem.  Being shared open source allows them to be customized for use cases that are yet to be realized.

Cloud Native VMs are currently utilizing features and functionality from open source projects including:

The Best Of Both Worlds

A Cloud Native VM is a VM, inside a container.

The enterprise has applications and workload needs that are vertically scaled and/or not destined for a micro-services future.  Now those applications and workloads have a VM context to run in, that gives them the flexibility they needs as they chart the future of their datacenter, wherever and however that might be.

Cloud Native VM also provides the enterprise with a familiar compute and operational experience, coupled with the amazingly efficient and portable nature of containers.

The enterprise can begin to bridge the skills gap to a horizontally scaled, cloud native application architecture with Cloud Native VM, and have a place to move their legacy applications and give them the freedom to migrate.

A Call To Action:

Consider the enterprise use-cases.  How could you things change if movement/providers/locations were no longer barriers? We want to hear from you!

The source-code is available for you to download and try yourself.  The instructions and source are available in the repo for you to set up your own multi-node testbed and experience cnvm yourself.

Get involved, let us know what you think – this capability is early in its development and we want and need all of your help to make it better and give the enterprise the capabilities they need; leveraging the cutting edge of current technology!  PRs are more than welcome they are required!

Checkout the code project on Github

— Jim McBride (jim@enteon.com/@stlalpha)