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Cloudy Skies: The Rise of Federated Containers and Scrutiny

  • ajitjaokar 
Cloudy Skies: The Rise of Federated Containers and Scrutiny

The Cloud has been a dominant paradigm over the last decade but is now attracting regulatory scrutiny. 

In the UK and the EU, there have been calls to explore regulation and competitive position in the Cloud. 

Overall, I think this will benefit customers. 

I do not want to go into the regulatory aspects, but I see some positive developments for consumers. 

Specifically, I see an uptake of federated containers – either by the Cloud providers themselves or by regulation.

This could have an impact on multiple aspects, as I discuss below

The idea of using containers across clouds is not new. 

Technically, this goal is feasible through docker and Kubernetes. 

The challenges are more business model based. 

Through federated containers driven by Kubernetes, we see both intracloud and intercloud containers. 

That means containers run and communicate across heterogenous clouds. 

Hence, functionality is encapsulated in the container and not in a cloud platform. 

An architecture like this would benefit customers in terms of interoperability. 

Apart from regulatory reasons, customers could also benefit from reduced costs. 

Engineers could benefit by developing skills that carry across cloud platforms instead of being tied to a specific cloud platform. 

Federated containers could also help drive edge applications.

In a recession and under regulatory pressures, these developments are plausible.

I had spoken of this trend in an earlier article here An introduction to Cloud Native applications and Kubernetes

Kubernetes is the underlying technology behind a term called ‘Cloud Native’. But this definition does not really convey the full significance of the term.  Kubernetes provides a flexible, loosely-coupled mechanism for service discovery. Because this mechanism sits above the Cloud – it potentially provides a cloud agnostic way of providing service delivery. Cloud agnosticity may or may not be an objective – but it is certainly an unintended consequence of Kubernetes – which also explains it’s popularity. So, developers in a cloud-native (kubernetes based) application engage with a layer which abstracts / decouples the underlying  compute, storage and networking primitives from a specific provider. 

Federated containers are the fulfilment of that vision

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