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No Containers Yet? No Worries

Roz Roseboro
4/25/2018

Containers were the darling of 2017, positioned as the answer to all questions about anything software related. Google uses them so they must be great, right?

Most people learned how to pronounce "Kubernetes" (with the cool kids shortening it to just "K8s" because, you know, who has the time?). The death of virtual machines was proclaimed, and containers were poised take over the Earth.

Well... not so fast. As 2018 opened, containers remain top of mind, but are still mostly in the realm of application developers. And let's not even mention the newest new kid on the block -- "serverless."

While no one argues that containers offer benefits over virtual machines -- most notably that they take up less space on the hardware -- it turns out that the extensive virtual machine infrastructure deployed in IT shops around the world is not going anywhere soon.

And why would it? Virtual machine infrastructure works and everyone knows how to use it. Plus, as much as VNFs are being re-architected, disaggregated and componentized into microservices so they can be containerized (have you scored Bingo yet?), this process will take a while.

And what do we do about the many functions that will never be containerized? Can they still be cloudified and automated?

As with any other technology, containers will only be deployed where there is a tangible, measurable business justification, no matter what the cool kids at Google are doing. For telecom operators planning their transformation journeys, this can all be confusing, not to mention overwhelming.

That's why on my panel, "The Expanding Role of Containers in Telecom", at Light Reading's Big Communications Event, we'll discuss containers with the people who are working through these thorny issues. We'll talk about the current state of play for containers in telecom environments, what the vendors are doing to move things along, and what service providers are doing -- if anything -- to implement containers in their cloud infrastructure. We'll cut through the (considerable) marketing clutter out there and hone in on what's real, what's coming, and what the path forward looks like.

Join us in Austin May 14-16 for Light Reading's fifth annual Big Communications Event. The event is free for communications service providers -- secure your seat today!

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— Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

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