Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Google infrastructure for everybody else

What was previously inaccessible technology such as containers, is today being brought to the wider market at speed, Juniper Network’s Scott Sneddon tells João Marques Lima.

“The idea of containers, or microservices, is not necessary a new thing. It is sort of a new form of virtualisation, a more optimised form of virtualisation,” explained Sneddon, Senior Director, Cloud and SDN at Juniper Networks.

Juniper Network’s Scott Sneddon

This is, however, a market posed for exponential growth, with revenues topping $2.68bn by 2020, compared to 2017’s $1.1bn, according to 451 Research.

That same market was in 2015 worth “only” $495m. Sneddon said: “Linux containers and Docker and this kind of emerging system is just giving us a new way to run applications on top of a host.

“A container is just a small application, a container namespace, a package. In the container world, I have one base level operating system and then I have a little execution environment that lets me run these little packaged applications.

“It is a much more efficient and optimised way of running processes and applications on top of a host.”


Tech giants ahead

One interesting point in the container world, is that its technology was before seen as something only the web scale Gods would be able to make use of.

The container idea was previously inside Google for many years, and only recently the giant open sourced the technology through Kubernetes, an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerised applications.

“What we are seeing in this kind of evolution, is what we like to call Google infrastructure for everybody else.

“People are learning from what the web scale guys are doing. Traditionally, one would talk to an enterprise about what Google does and they would say that it was a really interesting science project but it would not apply to them because they are not part of Google.

“Now there are ways of people taking advantage of a lot of what the web scale companies are doing in their own environments in a really reasonable and practical way.”


SDN momentum on containers

One of the markets “taking advantage” of the introduction of containers in the open market space, is the networking industry.

With the container market in frank expansion and the adoption of micro services, underlying technologies such as software defined networks (SDN) are set to benefit from the adoption of containers.

Sneddon said: “The whole thing about SDN was to sort of automate network services for virtualised environments.

“That becomes even more critical in a containerised environment, because the adds and changes that are compounded in a virtualised environment just get multiplied even more in a containerised environment.”


This article originally appeared in the Data Economy magazine. To read more on data centres, cloud and data, visit here