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How agencies ensure software containers don’t add complexity

Software containers and APIs are familiar tools to IT teams and provide multiple benefits to agencies as they move to the cloud and distributed IT environments, IT architect experts say in a new podcast.

However, government agencies need to stay focused on how these tools connect back to their infrastructure and ensure they don’t inadvertently add more complexity to the agency’s IT environment.

The podcast, produced by FedScoop and underwritten by Red Hat, interviewed two experts from Red Hat to discuss the successes government agencies are making with the technology integration and the returns on their infrastructure investments.

Steven Willmott, senior director and head of API infrastructure at Red Hat concedes, “as an IT leader, it is frustrating to be told to be agile all the time … when you have all the complexity to deal with.”

However, his experience has shown that when leaders can move beyond the initial frustration, they will see how containers and APIs make IT environments more effective.

Containerization of applications and microservices makes it easier to update and deploy software in multiple environments. Willmott reminds listeners it’s important to “have a sense of where the other parts of the infrastructure are going as well.”

Michelle Davis, Red Hat’s senior solutions architect says, “federal, state and local agencies are looking at these technologies to enhance and improve their software delivery lifecycle and to put governance around their services.”

Davis shared several practical cases of how federal agencies are using containers effectively.

She noted one example of a federal agency “using containers to improve [the defense of] their attack surface, making their security portable and amorphous. It allows them to deploy their software in a model so that the security is the same regardless of where it is deployed.”

Willmott said that containerization and APIs help IT departments better manage their software from development to production. Building an application in a portable environment brings efficiencies in the handoff from the development team to the production team – which means more cost savings and efficiencies for agencies.

And APIs make it easier to reuse applications in different environments, he added, which ultimately helps take some of the complexity out of distributed IT systems.

Learn more about how government agencies are modernizing using container technologies.

This podcast was produced by FedScoop and underwritten by Red Hat.