Blog > February 2021 > Arch2Arch: Containers, CI and Designing for Reuse

Arch2Arch: Containers, CI and Designing for Reuse

This week, ASG hosted the second installation of its Arch2Arch series, in which ASG’s top architects provide a behind-the-scenes look into ASG’s “secret sauce.” Arch2Arch hosts real conversations about designing and bringing our products to market. In this episode, I spoke with Sudhi Balan, Chief Architect for ASG Content Services, about Mobius 11, the latest iteration of ASG’s Content Services solution. Mobius 11 was released in October 2020 and marked a major achievement for ASG, as it was years in the making. The most exciting part of the Mobius 11 release – to us architects at least – is that it marks ASG’s move to a containerization-based model. This is just one piece of the incredible conversation I had with Sudhi; here is a glimpse!

Mobius 11, Containerization and the ASG Promise

What does the shift toward a containerization-based model mean for ASG customers? Simply, ASG is not just “doing” containers for the sake of doing containers. There is a clear business focus and very real, impactful technological benefits.

It started with customer needs. ASG’s customers want increasingly fast delivery of innovation, so we want to support it. Customers need us to release products faster, bring them to production quicker and integrate those products into their ecosystem. Containers have been in the marketplace for about a decade, but over the past two to three years, there has been a significant increase in enterprise adoption. The question from Mobius user groups then became, what is ASG’s plan to build containers into a delivery package? Mobius 11 answered this question and delivered a statement of direction.

At the onset of building containers into a delivery package, our Mobius architects were committed to a vision: serving our customers at every stage of their container journey. At ASG, we know every organization is at a unique place in their digital operations evolution. Some companies are just dipping their toes into the water and seeing what containers could mean for their DevOps program. Other companies are further advanced, using Kubernetes and feeling ready for autoscaling.

Our promise to our customers is that no matter where they are in their journey, we will support them. Our product management team focused on a strategy that would enable people across the entire spectrum – from those on the cutting edge to those on the starting block. We avoided a one-size-fits-all approach by making ASG software portable to various on-premises, cloud and hybrid cloud infrastructures. As a result, ASG has several delivery channels and new Mobius packaging, deployment and operations choices:

  1. Traditional (WAR file or mainframe distribution) – This customer may not be ready for total change. With this option, they can remain current with their existing infrastructure.
  2. Simple Docker (multi-host mixed resources production deployments) – This person is taking their first steps to modernizing digital operations. Simple Docker allows new releases faster and with less risk, and it can run both on-prem and in the cloud.
  3. Orchestrated Kubernetes (tailored auto-scale deployments) – This customer is likely experienced with Kubernetes deployments. Similar to Simple Docker, this option interoperates with existing repositories. It also ensures the least complexity and fewest barriers to entry – and runs both on-prem and in the cloud.
  4. Local users (single user, non-production development deployments) – This is for the customer trying a new Mobius version to enhance existing use cases. This option simplifies trying new software solutions in a local windows environment.

After reviewing these options, Sudhi and I tackled the next logical (and big) question: once you start making software faster, how do you ensure it’s high-quality? The answer, in short, is turning to continuous integration (CI), maximizing automation at every stage of the build process and ensuring that security and well architected design comes first. With that approach we are able to deliver internal fully tested releases every two to three weeks (our ultimate goal being under a week).

For the full strategy, you’ll have to watch the episode of Arch2Arch. Tune in here to hear my full conversation with Sudhi and learn about ASG’s approach to containerization, CI and designing for reuse. Make sure to also check out the ASG Mobius product page to see how Mobius 11 can support you at every stage of your cloud native journey.