The X4 Suite digitization platform from SoftProject GmbH now supports container orchestration with Kubernetes. Kubernetes automates, scales and manages container applications. Any number of docker containers can be created from the X4 Suite container image provided as a template. With the support of Kubernetes, for example, the orchestration platform OpenShift from Red Hat can also be used. Red Hat OpenShift supplies a user-friendly way to automate, manage, configure, install, move, and scale containers. With little effort, companies achieve the best possible performance, become more flexible and save resources and costs as well as update and installation efforts.

Kubernetes: As a container image, the low-code platform X4 Suite opens new digitization opportunities

The term container comes from the logistics industry, where industrial containers are loaded, moved and distributed in the best possible way. In software, a container is a separate instance, largely encapsulated from its environment, which usually only selectively accesses certain resources from the operating system. They are lightweight, flexible and easy to use and include all necessary components — such as frameworks, libraries and settings — to provide independent applications. These include software solutions such as ERP systems, general specialist applications, database servers, micro-services or digitization solutions such as the X4 Suite. Containers can be used as usual in a data center, but also on all relevant cloud platforms. In addition to the resources from the operating system, containers mostly use their own resources, such as storage space, network addresses and an integrated installation package. As a stand-alone system, containers can act independently of other applications.

How to turn software components into a powerful Docker Container

Docker makes a difference between containers and images. The image, for example, the X4 Suite Docker image, describes one step before the actual Docker Container. The image is a read-only file archive and cannot be changed. The X4 Suite image can be easily copied and supplies the basis for a container without software installation. Thus, an image always holds a configuration description of how the future container should look like and which functionalities it should fulfill. In contrast to a container, an image does not yet have any dependencies on operating system resources. This makes them flexible and allows them to be moved between different systems. It does not matter if the X4 Suite image is hosted on a physical or virtual server. The image holds all functionalities to run software from the own file system. To do this, Docker reads the information from the X4 Suite image and creates one or more Docker containers from it. In other words, a container is simply an “executed image”. The developer or administrator adjusts a few configuration settings and in no time at all, any number of new, powerful X4 Suite Docker containers with the desired applications and web services is available for a wide variety of scenarios.

Red Hat OpenShift minimizes orchestration effort for users

Containers usually share the resources of the operating system on which they run. These can be hard disk space capacities, rights management or user permissions. Kubernetes handles the administration, coordination and orchestration of the resources as much as possible. For example, the open-source system recognizes when a server is missing a certain application or power and automatically supplies an added container to relieve the load. Red Hat OpenShift supports users with easy-to-use management tools and dashboards for custom activities such as assigning user permissions. This ends the need for configurations on a deep, complex level in Kubernetes. This makes it easier for users to manage applications and processes while increasing efficiency.

X4 Suite Docker Container: Unlimited scalability and security

X4 Suite-Docker containers have the advantage that hotfixes, i.e. error corrections in the software, or updates on a patchday do not have to be applied in stages: It is sufficient to provide an updated X4 Suite image with the updates to automatically roll out the adjustments over the entire container landscape. Containers can be created and operated from the X4 Suite image in your own data center and on your own virtual machine as well as in your own cloud or on various cloud computing platforms such as Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services AWS or Microsoft Azure. Companies are not bound to one infrastructure and a parallel operation of applications on different platforms is also possible.

Conclusion:

Since the X4 Suite Docker image can now also be used with Red Hat OpenShift (based on Kubernetes), companies can quickly create any number of X4 Suite Docker containers, scale as needed, and significantly increase the speed and efficiency of their processes.

X4 Suite supports Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift without limitations. What are the specific advantages for companies?

  • Unlimited scalability
  • No added software installations necessary
  • Time and resource savings
  • Compatibility with all platforms and systems
  • Roll out new systems without effort
  • Minimal effort for updates and hotfixes
  • Flexible use of any type of application
  • Setup of several test systems without effort
  • Less effort in system administration
  • No added costs for hardware
  • An always automatically perfectly adjusted environment