Manage Your Containers in 1 Hour Per Week

Manage Your Containers in 1 Hour Per Week

What happens after you introduce container technology for the first time? You might celebrate the win for a few days. Your developers might start to launch new features quicker.

Then, you realize that containers are like every other piece of technology, at least in one respect; they need ongoing management as your environment changes. Indeed, no IT platform is completely self-managing. However, using the old management approach to newer technology is wasteful. Take a closer look at the pre-container world to manage technology infrastructure.

The Old Way to Manage Container Technology: Build A Small Empire of IT Operations Pros

Before containerization, managing multiple computing environments was tough. You need to check each configuration for consistency. If your test environment were different from production in the slightest degree, you’d end up with flawed test results. That means more system crashes and revenue-destroying downtime. To avoid that situation, companies built operations teams and processes to manage all their environments. Certifications such as ITIL became popular as a guiding methodology to govern IT operations.

Naturally, you might assume that it’s best to take the existing management approach and apply it to containers. It’s a good intention, but that approach just doesn’t make sense.

Why Traditional IT Management Doesn’t Mix Well with Containers

The process and controls framework of traditional IT framework was built for different challenges. These approaches were developed for mainframes, desktops, and servers that required constant attention and tinkering. That level of attention is simply no longer necessary when you use containers. Instead, use the one-hour container management approach.

Introducing the One-hour Container Management Approach

The one-hour approach to container oversight has two parts. Use both of them each week to keep your containers managed well. In the first 30 minutes, you’ll receive key performance indicators and comments about your containers to detect problems. In the next 30 minutes, you identify the top issues and send them to your operations team for action. Keep up this cadence week after week and your containers will remain tightly managed.

Does One-hour Container Management Sound too Good to Be True?

To be fair, some companies are just not ready to take the approach outlined above. A few prerequisites need to be in place first.

IT Security Automation

If you’re still managing IT security requests manually or through help desk tickets, you’re not going to have enough capacity to manage containers. To free up capacity, implement Identity Anywhere. Our identity management solution works in the cloud or on-premise. Unlike other IT security software, Identity Anywhere has simple per-user pricing, so you can forecast your expenses easily.

Tip: In larger organizations, implementing an IT security automation platform isn’t up to IT alone. You also need to obtain support from other stakeholders. For example, you might want to earn support from the human resources department. We explain how to do it in our past article: Win HR Support for Your User Provisioning Project in 5 Steps.

Employee IT Security Awareness

What happens when employees are unaware of company security expectations? They’re unlikely to protect your company effectively. As a result, the IT department will have to work much harder on passwords and identity management. With weak IT security knowledge, IT will face more calls for password resets, phishing attacks, and other problems. That means you’ll have less capacity to perform higher value activities such as container management. To help every employee contribute to IT security, give them easy-to-use training. We recommend focusing on employee password training first.

Container Expertise

To operate with a single hour of container management effort per week, you need to bring a high level of expertise to the table. Otherwise, the work will take much longer to perform. To start your container continuing education efforts, check out our short guide: Unleash Docker Productivity with These 10 Resources.

How Long Does It Take to Achieve One-hour Container Management?

The easy answer is that it depends. For an organization focusing on leveraging containers, the process would take 6-12 months if you enjoy a high level of support. If you’re operating in a larger organization such as a Fortune 1000 firm, this process will likely take longer due to the complexity of the environment and the presence of legacy IT infrastructure.
There’s one way to accelerate your progress: look for ways to automate and streamline IT operations. You might also want to explore what software solutions make IT security easier to maintain.

Written by Nelson Cicchitto