[Column] Benjamin Coetzer: 2020 – the year containerisation dominates PaaS

How will infrastructure evolve and provide the sourcing, migration and delivery of services for today’s digital migration? According to Benjamin Coetzer, Director, Routed – a vendor neutral cloud infrastructure developer, Platform as a Service in conjunction with the rising trend of containerisation, is busy delivering these answers.

As of 2019, Gartner says that the total Platform as a Service (PaaS) market contains more than 360 vendors, offering more than 550 cloud platform services in 21 categories. Gartner expects that, from 2018 to 2022, the market will double in size and that PaaS will be the prevailing platform delivery model moving forward.

Coetzer says that the adoption of PaaS has boomed leading to an increasing and subsequent uptake of containerisation: “Enterprises are embracing containers at a much faster pace than expected, giving rise to Containerisation as a Service (CaaS). The thriving open source community combined with the availability of mature commercial offerings has given much needed confidence to enterprise customers.”

He says that containers will redefine the hybrid cloud by bridging the gap between legacy and modern applications and on-premises and public cloud infrastructure.

“As software providers become more comfortable with building out containerised applications and consuming PaaS offerings, more and more responsibilities will be moved away from consumers of cloud infrastructure.  What will become vital is workload mobility, the ability to move applications between cloud infrastructure providers, to avoid vendor lock-in scenarios, which is a huge risk currently,” says Coetzer.

Migration from on-premise to cloud, or cloud-to-cloud remains fairly primitive and will become crucial for adoption in the years to come. Coetzer says that VMware is already working towards a multi-cloud management platform to enable this scenario. He expects more vendors to develop competing offerings but says that the VMWare platform is currently leading this race.

“Containers are changing the way resources and services are consumed by developers, from internal or external cloud infrastructure providers. It’s also introducing new networking and security challenges, which are being addressed by NFV solutions. There are some exciting projects that are changing the face of private cloud infrastructure hosting facilities, while the cloud giants Azure and AWS have been feverishly innovating Kubernetes-as-a-Service offerings and expanding on their already vast Platform-as-a-Service offerings,’ says Coetzer.

According to Forbes, Kubernetes has become the front and centre of enterprise container platforms. From traditional OS vendors to modern PaaS providers, every major platform vendor has a commercial Kubernetes offering making it the new operating system of the data centre. Traditional PaaS has gradually transformed into a container management platform. PaaS industry leaders have embraced Kubernetes as the foundation of their platforms and according to Forbes, 2019 will witness the complete transformation of PaaS into CaaS.

Coetzer sees this trend extending locally making 2020 an exciting year for further digital transformation.

Benjamin Coetzer is the Director of cloud service provider Routed.

Westcon-Comstor names NetApp, the data authority for hybrid cloud, as its distributor for Sub-Saharan Africa

Westcon-Comstor today announced the appointment by NetApp, the data authority for hybrid cloud, as its distributor for Sub-Saharan Africa effective May 1, 2019. Westcon-Comstor has been a distributor in some territories for many years but can now offer NetApp solutions across Sub Saharan Africa.

With an extensive footprint Westcon-Comstor will offer NetApp solutions in South Africa (SA), Southern African Development Community (SADC), French West Africa (FWA), West Africa (WA), East Africa (EA) and Indian Ocean Islands (IOI).  The reinvigorated collaboration comes as part of a strategy to strengthen the role of NetApp distributors and partners in EMEA and provides customers with world-class services and solutions.

While many global vendors have a blended channel strategy that allows them to sell directly to large enterprise end-users, this has been to the detriment of local partners. NetApp continues to place emphasis on being a channel-focused company.

“Our affiliation with NetApp has grown from strength to strength. The vendor is committed to aligning its strategy in the new financial year to support, develop, invest in and empower its distribution relationship as well as its partners in the region” states Rakesh Parbhoo, CEO at Westcon-Comstor Sub-Saharan Africa. “As the preferred distributor of its solutions, combined with the investment NetApp has committed to putting into the channel, I believe we will be able to expand the market while providing our customers with solutions that fulfil their hybrid cloud and data services requirements and simplify the management of applications in their business and across multiple clouds.”

A primary focus for both businesses is to invest and enable NetApp channel partners to become self-sufficient and accelerate growth. Through unique channel programmes such as Westcon-Comstor EDGE, we enable partners with unique tools and support.

“We have strengthened our relationship with Westcon-Comstor based on our history of successful partnership as well as its expertise in the industry and this market,” said Kristian Kerr, NetApp Vice President Partners & Pathways EMEA. “Partnering with and empowering the channel is crucial to NetApp’s strategy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Together, we will be the leading hybrid- and multi-cloud experts for our customers, empowering people while providing a profitable and predictable environment in which businesses can thrive.

With an extensive footprint in Sub-Saharan Africa, Westcon-Comstor offers channel partners value-added distribution services that extends global logistical capabilities and a range of support and technical services.  With one platform of integrated, powerful digital toolsets across purchasing, renewals, sales management, cloud services and software, Westcon-Comstor drives customer experience to benefit all partners across the supply chain.