Cloud containers are quickly becoming the go-to technology for modern application development because of their portability and deployment speed. But as DevOps teams continue to turn towards containers for speed, agility, and scale (here’s a handy guide we made to help you compare container services across the leading cloud service providers), it’s important for organizations to define cloud governance policies and implement guardrails for operational efficiency and effective cost management.
Challenges with cloud governance and containers
For organizations that fail to properly govern container usage, two significant challenges emerge:
- Inefficient resource utilization
- Poor allocation accountability
1. Inefficient resource utilization
Just as virtual machines (VMs) can easily be over or under-provisioned, cloud container images and clusters face similar challenges around resource usage optimization. When provisioning a new cluster, how does your development team determine which resources—and how much—they should deploy to support their application? Odds are they're probably budgeting high to ensure they don’t run into problems down the road due to a shortage of resources.
As these teams scale, it becomes harder for your IT Ops teams to provision the right hardware configurations (CPU and memory) for workloads that change over time. Thankfully, containers can be rightsized to ensure resource consumption is optimized—if you know what to look for.
2. Poor allocation accountability
One of the greatest challenges organizations face with containers has little to do with the technology itself, and more to with their inability to hold teams accountable for actually using it. In many environments, workload requirements are rapidly changing, which makes it difficult to track how the shared resources are being consumed by various teams over time.
As a result, organizations face challenges in attributing usage and cost to specific teams and departments, making it harder to track (and later forecast) budgets and define cloud governance policies. Without insight into usage, you can’t begin to create a culture of accountability across your organization.
How CloudHealth helps with cloud container governance
To help tackle some of the challenges organizations face around decentralized container usage, CloudHealth users can explore the CloudHealth Container Governance Module*, which provides long-term, trended visibility into container resource utilization by service or team. The CloudHealth Container Governance Module helps you discover which services are consuming the most resources and identify opportunities for optimization.
Using the CloudHealth Container Governance Module, you can:
- Increase accountability: Understand cluster resource utilization by services or team.
- Improve operational efficiency: Evaluate if you have the right mix of resources in your clusters to support your workloads.
- Optimize spend: Identify areas of waste or underutilization to reduce spend.
*The CloudHealth Container Governance Module supports containers in all cloud environments and supports the following orchestration solutions: Kubernetes (Community, OpenShift, and EKS), Mesos (DC/OS and Apache), and Amazon ECS.
As cloud container usage continues to scale across your organization and management becomes increasingly decentralized, providing teams with the tools they need to hold themselves accountable to defined governance policies and best practices is crucial for long-term success, starting with increased visibility into resource usage.
For more information on optimizing your container environment, see our in-depth eBook: Tackle These 6 Common Container Challenges