Why today's cloud is built on containers

Containers are the default way of packaging software in the cloud. Amazon Web Services (AWS) executive Deepak Singh shares insights for IT leaders on smoothly running containers with its service and ecosystem partners
161 readers like this.

In 2008, when the idea of  cloud computing was in its infancy, Deepak Singh worked at a biotech software company, where he was leveraging EC2. He met Amazon Web Services evangelist Jeff Barr, who convinced him to join the company as a product manager for EC2. Deepak saw the trend of making software packaging and deployment simpler, as evidenced at companies like Netflix. Then Docker helped democratize the “build, ship, run” functionality with Linux containers. Fast forward to today, and containers (specifically the OCI format) have become the standard way of packaging software.

Pair that with the “wonderful orchestration tooling that grew up around it” and this has led to the reality today that most new applications on AWS are written for containers or serverless. As these technologies have matured, AWS has helped to blur the line between serverless and containers. Many of the AWS container services have a serverless frontend (like Fargate) and containers (like ECS or EKS) on the backend. And Lambda can also use the OCI format for using container packaging.

Amazon has many ways of deploying containers and Kubernetes, so IT leaders may wonder: Why does Amazon offer Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS? It is because of strong customer interest and a long partnership that Amazon has with Red Hat (which started with Red Hat Enterprise Linux). Containers and Kubernetes is a complex space that spans both the infrastructure and development team. It can be very hard to learn, deploy, and use Kubernetes, CI/CD, infrastructure as code, observability, and all of the other pieces of a cloud native stack. Deepak says, “I think it’s the reason why, you know, things like OpenShift actually are popular with people because it makes it easy to do that [manage the complex cloud native ecosystem] for a lot of these teams that reduces the friction.”

Deepak also owns the Amazon open source program office. When AWS is creating a new service, they ask the team if it should be open source. In the container team, they are also sharing roadmaps publicly; on GitHub there is the AWS container roadmap and the Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS roadmap.

For more great insights from Deepak (with an added bonus discussion of his passion for bird photography), watch the new episode of of Red Hat’s livestreaming show, In The Clouds:

Stu Miniman is Director of Market Insights on the Red Hat cloud platforms team. He is the host of the Red Hat livestreaming show In The Clouds. He is a former analyst and host of theCUBE.