When to Containerize Legacy Applications — And When Not to
Sitting across the table in early talks with new customers, I often find myself thinking of the Blendtec marketing campaign that started almost 10 years ago, whereby the creator of Blendtec blenders discovers through his YouTube channelwhat objects will blend in his line of blenders. The opening tagline was always, “Will it blend?” He then goes on to show that the chosen object of the day will, in fact, blend in the Blendtec. What results is most usually a smokey, soupy mess, but it did, in fact, blend!
In many of BoxBoats new engagements, we are presented with legacy applications and asked a simple question, Can it be containerized? With few exceptions, my answer is most always, yes. Our goal is then to demonstrate a viable path forward to migrate these applications and deliver the incredible benefits of containerization without the hot, soupy mess.
Anything can be containerized. Just because it can be, however, doesnt mean it should be.
Applications running in a container at the end of the day is still a Linux process being managed by the host. There are now fairly robust mechanisms for handling networking, monitoring, and persistent storage for stateful applications for containerized applications. Here are some areas that container technologies handle fairly well:
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