Traditional or cloud-native? Why not something in between?

by Daniel Pelke |
Aug 9, 2018 |

I usually write blog posts about general IT trends and about the paths and aberrations of digital transformation. I have always avoided writing articles about us, fme AG. Today, for once, I want to break that rule. Sometimes you walk out of a customer meeting and ask yourself: “What in God’s name do some so-called cloud consultants tell clients? Why are they confusing their clients more than neutrally showing them the options for the way to the cloud?

The list of ways a company can leverage its applications into the cloud is long. Thus also a term variety prevails which is confusing.

Your on-premise cloud options at a glance

Starting from complete use in their own data center (on-premise), companies have the following options:

  1. Cloud storage: adding storage capacity from the cloud to your application.
  2. Re-platforming
    a) Lift’n’Shift: i.e. virtualizing or containerizing the application and hosting the virtual machines or containers with a cloud provider. Of course, provided that the containers are orchestrated accordingly, they can also be hosted in one’ s own data center.
    b) Lift’n’Extend: i.e. to containerize the applications and to enhance with other cloud services functionally, or to create new cloud-native functions. It is also possible to develop individual elements of the application, e.g. the clients, in a new and cloud-native way and to link them to the backend. Such solutions are commonly referred to as hybrid cloud applications; not to be confused with hybrid cloud concepts.
  3. Re-Factoring: i.e. to redevelop the application on a PaaS stack as a cloud-native application. If the solution is based on a commercial basic product such as a DMS that is not cloud-compatible, this method is not possible.
  4. Use a new solution from a SaaS provider.

Containerization as an ideal middle way between traditional and cloud-native

For example many organizations, are facing the decision to continue to operate DMS-based solutions at great expense and cost or to choose option 4, i.e. to switch to a SaaS provider. However, the options listed under 2 offer an ideal middle way with containerisation.

The advantages of containerization have already been described in detail in the fme blog post  “How can Linux containers save your day?”.
Our Distributed Environments With Containers data sheet provides a more technical insight into containers. In particular, the use of containers in validated environments – so critical for the life sciences industry – is a prime example of the additional advantages offered by container technologies.

Your container advantages at a glance

  • Proven software and applications remain in use.
  • The user interface and user guidance remain the same.
  • Faster, less error-prone, automated processes can result in faster application deployment and lower validation costs.
  • The agility in projects increases.
  • Upgrade paths are simplified: Entire migration environments are containerized, even with different host operating systems for which previously elaborately installed, own virtual machines were necessary.
  • The applications are manifold!

Strong expertise from fme’s independent cloud, container and migration experts

The containerisation experts from fme disassemble the basic product, pack it into containers and reassemble it in your data centre or at a cloud provider, such as AWS, to form the new basic application. For some products, fme has already built ready-to-use containers that can be rolled out fast and easily. Subsequently, configurations and, if available, customizations are made. The new system is filled with the fme Migration Services and thus a 1:1 copy is created. What sounds so simple requires a high level of expertise and is associated with costs that are more than justified if one considers the advantages of containerization.

A useful example for Lift’n’Extend (2b): Connection of Alexa to a containerized DMS application

An example for the extension of a containerized DMS application with native cloud services can be seen impressively in the YouTube video “Showcase: Alexa, please open Documentum! For this purpose, fme containerization experts have rolled out OpenText Documentum on AWS and fme AWS specialists have connected it to Alexa. We believe that Alexa skills can make your daily work easier. In environments where operating a system with mouse and keyboard is difficult, Alexa can use voice commands to find and read documents. A use case could be a laboratory where safety gloves have to be worn, but the user working there needs SOPs from a DMS system.

Where do you currently stand with your cloud considerations?

  • You have no experience yet with container technologies and their advantages? Give us a call, we offer individual introductory workshops!
  • You know the advantages of container technologies and want to get started? Call us, we will help you to containerize your application within the scope of an MVP or we will bring along ready-made containers!
  • You are convinced of container technologies and want to convert your application to this technology? Call us, we make your container-based application available on-premise or off-premise and migrate your data.
  • You don’t want to run your application yourself anymore? Call us, our application management experts operate your containerized application with up to 24*7 availability in the cloud.
  • You want to add new cloud-based functions to your application? Call us, our cloud experts are familiar with the common platforms and their specific services.

There are very good reasons to choose a SaaS offering; no question, but operating costs are only one part of the whole picture. fme, as an independent consulting company, helps you to find your ideal way: regardless of whether it leads into the cloud or to on-premise with modern cloud technologies.

Have we aroused your interest? Then please feel free to write to us.

Are you interested in future blog posts from the life sciences area? – Please follow us on our social media accounts.

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