The Distribution of Everything

Why containerized microservices will have a macro impact on analytics

Back in the 60s Bob Dylan sang “The Times They Are a-Changin” which has become a famous and lasting anthem of change. Bowie wrote ‘Changes’ in the 70s but it’s the “Winds of Change” from the Scorpions that plays in my head when I hear the phrase - Change is the only constant, and nowhere is this truer than in the world of tech.

On the winds of change is the trend towards cloud-native container based microservices architecture which ultimately means that organisations embracing this will be able to distribute workloads, processes and indeed data throughout the enterprise and even across clouds, as and when they need to, with much more flexibility than before.

According to 451 Research - 45% of organisations today are either actively using container technologies or are in the discovery stage, with 7% planning to implement in the next 12 months.1

This is only set to grow, in fact IDC predict that by 2022, 90% of all new apps will feature microservices architectures that improve the ability to design, debug, update, and leverage third-party code.

But what’s all this have to do with analytics? I hear you cry, well a few years ago we started talking about hybrid cloud and we have been executing and delivering on our own exciting multi-cloud strategy with containerized microservices architecture at the heart of it. In this blog I want to start demystifying what this all means.

Let’s start with cloud first. Just because something is cloud-native does not mean it was born in and must only live in the cloud. In Qlik’s case we decided to lead with cloud, rather than retrofitting our product, we’ve built our cloud-native architecture from the ground up. Our modern web-based platform can handle the demands of more elasticity and scale; portability across different environments for multi-cloud; and allow for easy changes/shifts in deployment. You can deploy Qlik on-premise, in a public cloud, in your private cloud or virtual private cloud, on Qlik’s own cloud with our Qlik Cloud Services and anywhere in-between.

While it’s true that more organisations are moving more towards cloud, that doesn't mean you have to move everything on the cloud, including all your data. In this post GDPR world there will always be cases where your more sensitive data must stay on-premise, behind the fire wall, and absolutely, positively cannot leave the room. That’s okay too but you don’t want to be forced to analyse it in isolation.

For most organisations these days it’s no longer just a single cloud vendor they partner with either, there can be several cloud vendors in the mix – hence the need for a multi-cloud strategy and why Qlik has a strong ecosystem of technology partners including the same cloud vendors you use.

Now let’s look at why many organizations see containerized microservices architecture as the way forward. There are many benefits, here are just a few;

  • Software applications can be split out into smaller isolated services with less dependencies on operating systems and servers making them smaller in size (MBs) and faster to spin up and easier to manage change, compared to virtual machines.
  • Optimized elastic infrastructure offering high availability that can be scaled-out rapidly
  • Automated capabilities to manage and orchestrate large and complex applications with ease
  • Portability to seamlessly move between environments (Dev>Test>Production), on-premise, cloud and even between clouds, helping to avoid vendor lock in
  • Security benefits as it can add another layer of isolation between your application and the host environment, without requiring you to run a full virtual server.

Technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes are becoming synonymous with containerized microservices. Docker allows you to build, ship and run applications in containers. Kubernetes automates the management of containers and is great for scenarios where there are many containers and complex models.

If you are already embracing these winds of change and have a multi-cloud environment, you could run Qlik Sense Enterprise in your own kubernetes cluster and start distributing your own workloads and data anywhere, at any scale, at any time, with enterprise grade governance. Pre-packaged containers are available using helm to deploy Qlik Sense Enterprise on Kubernetes, just one of the many ways to deploy Qlik. It’s your infrastructure, your investment and ultimately it should be your choice how you deploy Qlik.

We’re about to take our multi-cloud strategy a step farther by offering the most flexibility and choice, with even more possibilities of using our architecture. Qonnections 2019 is only around the corner, while you are signing up for that, I strongly recommend you also sign up to the Qlik Insider and the Qlik Product Spotlight webinars, where you can learn more on this and many other topics on all things Qlik.

1Source: 451Research: Voice of the Enterprise: Digital Pulse, Budgets and Outlooks 2018

By 2022 90% of new apps will feature microservices architectures @adammayerwrk explores the impact to analytics-micro or macro?


In this article:

Keep up with the latest insights to drive the most value from your data.

Get ready to transform your entire business with data.

Follow Qlik