From Kilimanjaro to Containers | SUSE Communities

From Kilimanjaro to Containers



Who would have thought that I would be drawn to similarities I found between my recent successful ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro, and the innovative technology deployment of Containers as a Service (CaaS). A platform which is fast becoming an important technology to the successful development of a digital transformation strategy. You may think this is a tenuous link, but as I forged my way up Kilimanjaro towards the summit at 5,895m/19,341Ft there were a few key aspects of daily survival that surfaced as very important factors to success.

First, was the requirement to be highly organised. This needed all clothing and equipment to be separated into respective colour coded bags to separate for their various needs to keep clean, waterproof, warm weather, cold weather, day wear, night wear, emergency medical, smartphone and electrical kit, basic toiletries, drinking water treatment, sleeping bag and equipment …
Second, was the need to be able to respond quickly to the changing environment and weather conditions on the mountain, In the pressure of the moment of either having limited time to respond, limited space to operate or limited knowledge of the environment, having all your equipment organised and accessible through use of the colour coded dry bags, as a “soft” container strategy, ensured you could find, put your hands on, and use, the required equipment fast.
Third, was the need to quickly build new relationships with fellow climbers, mountain experts, and local guides for everyone to operate as an effective and efficient team, thereby helping everyone succeed in the goal to summit and get back down safely.



The experiences on Kilimanjaro resonated with me as I returned to work and considered the emerging IT landscape for building and delivery of new cloud native applications. The requirement to manage a portable, highly automated and light weight application delivery environment, in a way felt similar to the critical organisation and discipline exercised in order to respond to the many extreme demands of the mountain. The use of a Containers as a Service (CaaS) is a manageable first step to realising the following business imperatives:
1. Respond effectively to changing demand, by improving service delivery and having the flexibility to run applications everywhere – on premise or in the public cloud achieving a faster time to value.
2. Increase operational efficiency – reducing the amount of manual intervention, reduce development costs and maximising service availability
3. Reduced cost and improved flexibility in meeting new business opportunities – build a new bridge between IT development and operations, improve delivery lifecycle and achieve the required agility to deliver IT solutions to rapidly changing, fluid and demanding business requirements.

If you would like to understand more about SUSE’s Containers as a Service platform (which incorporates Kubernetes and Docker) and check out the move towards a flexible cloud based development and operations environment, then please visit:

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