Automation, Orchestration and IoT

Providing digital transformation through DevOps

Technology Review

Richard Stubbs

Richard Stubbs

Richard is a consultant at The Network Factory, He's an expert in automation technologies, security and the Internet of Things. Whisky / Black Coffee / Green Tea

Technology tools within the DevOps world move at lightning speed. You often see a Cambrian explosion effect then rapid consolidation, and survival of the fittest (it does the job well, it's very easy to implement, fits with your existing tools and processes, and most of all has excellent documentation), but this does not necessarily mean it won't reach an evolutionary dead end as something new, or better, or more likely a shiny new fork, will appear.

As with any company we evaluate our toolset offering. A lot of expense goes into training staff and maintaining support for products. Here at The Network Factory we regularly have technology reviews; what's working, what's not working, what's new on the horizon and where the industry is going.

From our most recent review one thing is clear; the industry has finally settled on Kubernetes. It's become boring and that's a positive thing. Kubernetes should be considered the engine in a car; it's a necessity and a standard. However, like an engine it's quite complex (Kubernetes has quite a steep learning curve) but you don't need to be a mechanic to drive a car so we're now looking for the optional extras that help make that process less of a challenge, like the tools and UI's that sit on top of Kubernetes.

It's very easy as developers and engineers to chase shiny new toys but for clients and production systems it needs to be a mature, well tested product. So out of our last review there a few solutions that we've chosen not to support; this doesn't mean that they don't do a job, they are right for some businesses - one size does not fit all. Products we are no longer supporting from 2018, primarily because we have introduced better fit technologies for our existing clients, are Mesos and Mesosphere.

This leads us to the shiny new products we're evaluating in Q1! We're really excited about StorageOS; it has the potential to solve some of the problems we have with persistent container storage and we are actively testing, evaluating and integrating it into our containerised solutions. Whilst we're talking about good software, despite being a terminal junkie I must say I really love the Portainer container management system. I use it locally, if only just to have an overview of my images, containers and storage. It's very easy to let Docker run wild on your system leading to abandoned containers, volumes, and using valuable disk space and resources.

Our next review will be in June. Who can really say what the landscape will look like in six-months time? Well…we have a fair idea!

To learn more about our services and what we can do for you, call us on +44(0)207 100 666 8 or email us at and we'll find a dependable, cost-effective solution that works for you.