Cloud portability, as the name implies, is moving from one cloud environment to another. For example, shifting from Microsoft Azure to AWS (Amazon Web Services). However, the process of migration entirely depends upon certain circumstances and the use of containers.
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What are Containers?
Basically, containers are entities that help different applications to move from one environment to another. Developers use containers to encapsulate the software into a package that can be implemented on another platform that supports container standard such as Kubernetes or Docker. However, containers are no magic drug. Whether you use containers or not, it is important to plan well while creating applications to reduce compatibility issues with different environments. Using containers for bundling applications when porting from one environment to another doesn’t mean that they can be shifted from one cloud to another with all their desired capabilities. Container assists to encapsulate applications with the OS, it doesn’t make it a sure-fire way to port applications to any platform. For instance, you cannot expect a container dedicated to Linux to work with Windows and vice versa.
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Companies need applications that are portable and they can have it if things are well-planned while designing applications. It is possible to port any application from platform to platform but the process consumes time. The real challenge appears in porting applications in minimum time and at reduced cost. Developers should understand that although containers will support you to achieve cross-platform software compatibility, they cannot entirely depend upon containers for portability. They should keep in mind that containers are just links in the mighty chain. Cloud portability is not a black and white issue but a huge gray area. Therefore, the answer to the big question- “Is cloud portability possible?” is “It depends”, which most of the IT leaders hate. The most important thing to learn about cloud portability is that the process comes at a price. We can’t be certain about the functionalities that would be obtained after the portability as functionalities may vary. It’s certainly pushing your luck. Moreover, applications that use more inherent cloud features are not easily portable.
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There are many features that are desired from a particular cloud platform, language and operating system or any other technology. You may not be able to migrate some or may be all of them during cloud portability. Hence, developers need to remain mindful and plan the design accordingly to mitigate such issues. Technology is always dynamic, thus solutions to such problems cannot be black and white.