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IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: The Importance of Containers and Best Execution Venue (BEV) for Datacenter Modernization

October 30, 2017 No Comments

The topic of container technology has maintained front page presence in the media and industry analyst community for some time now. Likewise, there has been consistent interest from business and IT professionals. Today, research indicates that the number of IT shops deploying container technology into production has taken a giant leap forward. One of the key reasons for this jump is the ability for containers to enable Best Execution Venue (BEV) workload portability. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with DH2i’s Connor Cox, Director of Business Development, to discuss these two increasingly important topics.

  • Q: There continues to be a lot of talk about containers – why somuch excitement and interest?

A: I believe the interest surrounding containers is being renewed by a huge shift taking place in which the industry is starting to take containers more seriously. Data collected by 451 Research and presented in our recent webinar supports this conclusion that IT professionals are concluding that containers aren’t just a development toy and can actually bring significant benefits to production environments.

Many organizations are actively pursuing the dream of a true hybrid cloud right now as well. It is becoming very clear the kinds of benefits that containers can have in terms of consolidation and portability for a mixed-infrastructure environment, therefore many IT pros are digging deeper into container technology, some are looking into it for the first time.

  • Q: Best execution venue (BEV) is another term I am hearing moreand more – what is it and why is it important?

A: The best execution venue is the configuration/location in which a given workload can run at peak efficiency and performance. A BEV operating model embodies the idea that different workloads will perform better on different types of underlying infrastructure or platforms. In a dynamic environment, the BEV for a particular workload could change depending on performance, usage, cost, data locality, security or other requirements.

A BEV operating model is important because it leads to the highest-performing environment, and I think will grow to be an overarching goal for much of the IT industry in the near future. The ability to dynamically move workloads to their BEV is a key to unifying the ever-expanding heterogeneity of IT environments, and could also have a substantial, positive impact as more and more firms take their environments to the cloud.

  • Q: When you speak with IT professionals, are most leveraging or at least planning to deploy containers in their datacenters?  If so, is it to support a BEV architecture?  If not, why not?

A: Some of the IT professionals I talk to are much further along in the awareness/adoption process than others, but it is definitely safe to say that containerization is on the radar of everyone. As far as container deployments among the organizations I work with, we aren’t really seeing any initiatives to lift and shift everything straight to containers. Primarily our customers are being forced to continue maintaining legacy the way they have in the past, but are beginning to use containers for new projects.

Supporting a BEV operating model is definitely part of the reason these initiatives are in place. Our customers—as well as just about any IT department you talk to, are all tasked with managing a lot of different applications, platforms and infrastructure, so they are constantly looking for ways to simplify dynamic management.

Containers are helping in some regards, but they also bring about some additional complexity as well, if they are not deployed with best practices in mind. The real trick is to find technology that can unify both your native instances and containers within one, easy-to-manage framework.

  • Q: Is deployment of hybrid and cloud-to-cloud environments a likely use cases for leveraging containers?

A: This is definitely a likely use case for containers from a couple different perspectives. Because of the way containers are architected to run the same across different underlying servers, it makes them ready-made for hybrid cloud or cloud-to-cloud out of the box. Developers can create applications on one environment and ship them to production reliably and consistently.

Containers also provide the level of abstraction that workloads need to move across environments to other machines that support Docker, and they’re very scalable. The equation becomes a little more complicated when stateful containers—containerized RDBMS instances such as Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle—enter the picture and need high availability (HA) and data persistence.

  • Q: How does DH2i’s recently enhanced DxEnterprise software help its users to overcome the aforementioned challenges and help them to modernize their datacenter?

A: For some background, we have been helping customers in their Windows Server environments—primarily with SQL Server—since 2011. Our newest release, DxEnterprise v17, includes a lot of enhancements, the biggest of which is added support for both Linux and Docker. Our software’s multi-platform support enables an advanced BEV operational model, and in-turn—can enable a true hybrid cloud for organizations that deploy it.

DxEnterprise utilizes Virtual Host technology to encapsulate native instances and containers to make them portable across any type of infrastructure. The management framework of DxEnterprise allows you to move these workloads with a simple drag-and-drop, via performance policies and even automated load balancing. DxEnterprise will also take automated action to keep workloads running if it detects any faults with the application, OS, infrastructure and even most pilot errors.

In total, DxEnterprise is a tool that unifies heterogeneous Windows, Linux, Docker and disparate infrastructure for the easiest management and high availability experience. It is a valuable tool for helping you modernize your datacenter by tying everything—including containerized workloads—together into one, centrally manageable utility that is easy to insert additional technology into as organizations organically grow.

  • Q: Anything else?

A: If you want to learn a little more about the current state of container technology—as well as receive an introduction to DxEnterprise software, I’d encourage you to view the recording of our recent webinar with 451 Research’s Jay Lyman. Jay shared a lot of interesting research that the team at 451 conducted earlier this year. You can access the recording right here:

You can also sign up for a demo here if you want to see DxEnterprise in action:

connor cox headshot 1 241x300 IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: The Importance of Containers and Best Execution Venue (BEV) for Datacenter Modernization

Connor Cox is a technical business development executive with extensive experience assisting customers transform their IT capabilities to maximize business value. As an enterprise IT strategist, Connor helps organizations achieve the highest overall IT service availability, improve agility, and minimize TCO. He has worked in the enterprise tech startup field for the past 5 years. Connor earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Colorado State University and was recently named a 2017 CRN Channel Chief.


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