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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Konveyor community guides enterprises on the cloud native journey

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As cloud native computing proves its value as a more modern and dynamic IT architecture, businesses become more interested in this infrastructure. But modernizing tech is not always an easy task, especially for large enterprises with great amounts of legacy applications.

The Konveyor community is a group that help companies and tech teams migrate applications to the hybrid cloud by building tools, identifying patterns and providing advice on how to break down monoliths, adopt containers and embrace Kubernetes. It also holds regular meetings where community members discuss and demonstrate things they’ve learned.

“The idea behind the Konveyor community was really kind of twofold,” said James Labocki (pictured, left), senior director of product management at Red Hat Inc. “One was to help with knowledge sharing. The second piece we discovered was that there’s really no place where you can find open-source tools to help you rehost, replatform and refactor your applications to Kubernetes, and so that’s really where we’re trying to fill that void [and] provide open-source options in that space.”

Labocki and Ruchir Puri (pictured, right), IBM fellow and chief scientist of IBM Research, spoke with John Furrier, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, during KubeCon + CloudNativeCon. They discussed the goals of the Konveyor community, some projects that are being developed and how to get involved. (* Disclosure below.)

The three-step process

Modernizing applications to implement a native cloud architecture basically involves three steps, what the Konveyor community calls rehosting, refactoring and replatforming. The first to happen – and generally the easiest — is rehosting, which means moving applications to a new cloud environment, according to Puri.

“[The second is] the replatforming one, where you’re now really changing the stack as well, but not changing the application in any major way yet,” he explained. “And the hardest one happened around refactoring, which is … when we start talking about cloud native.”

While the replatform approach involves some form of application optimization before going to the cloud — such as moving the application server to a lighter server or moving from Cloud Foundry to Kubernetes — the refactor stage is deeper and implies changes in the core architecture.

“It’s really about taking applications and dividing them so that we can spin microservices, and it has the agility of development of a cloud native environment,” Puri explained.

Five projects are under development

The Konveyor community is currently involved in five projects at different stages of maturity. One of the projects in the rehost phase is called Forklift, which is about migrating virtual machines to KubeVirt, according to Labocki.

“KubeVirt is a way that you can run virtual machines orchestrated by Kubernetes,” he said. “And we’re seeing a growth of demand there, where people want to have a common orchestration for both their VMs and containers running on bare metal.”

With a more advanced maturity, in the replatform stage is the project Move2Kube, a tool that uses source artifacts, such as Docker Compose files or Cloud Foundry manifest files and even source code, to generate Kubernetes deployment artifacts.

In the refactor phase, an example is the Tackle project, which focuess on the assessment and analysis of applications for containerization — that is, to really look and understand the suitability of an application to be containerized and to be refactored in containers.

“The goal for the community really is to provide assistance and help and guidance to the users, from a community point of view. It’s not just from us, whether it’s Red Hat or IBM Research, but it’s really enterprises start participating,” Puri said. “And we’re already seeing that interest from the enterprises because there was a big gap in this area.”

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of KubeCon + CloudNativeCon. (* Disclosure: Red Hat Inc. sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither Red Hat nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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