The terms “microservices” and “containers” are used almost interchangeably today. While they do not mean exactly the same thing, it is true that the majority of enterprises containerize their software when migrating to microservices architecture.
At first, building containers might be exciting, as it is a new and powerful technology. However, building a container properly is not easy to do. Understanding the implications of building your containers with a superuser, or how to reduce security risks and increase initial download speed by minimizing container size, can make or break the success of your project. In addition, each language or framework has its own quirks and best practices, which usually require additional expertise and attention.
While building containers might seem like the hard part, keeping your containers updated and patched to avoid running with security vulnerabilities can be a serious pain point. Assuming that an average enterprise will have dozens of containers based on several technologies — like Java with Springboot, NodeJS with Express, and Ruby on Rails — each with security patches released weekly, keeping them updated is often challenging.
In short, building and maintaining containers is a complex, time-consuming process that takes your development team’s focus away from your core goals. Rather than having every dev team reinvent the wheel, VMware’s Tanzu Build Service standardizes the process according to industry best practices, helping organizations with both building and maintaining containers.
Tanzu Build Service is based on a CNCF project called BuildPacks, and runs constantly, no matter if you’re using Kubernetes, on-prem, or public Cloud. As a result, it monitors your code repository and automatically rebuilds the code continuously and automatically. You don’t need to change, reconfigure or update your pipeline, even if new components are added or technology changes; for example, if you decide to move from NPM to Yarn. The most essential feature, though, is the ability to update your vulnerabilities without R&D efforts. This is built on the BuildPacks rebase operation.
This video explains in detail how VMware’s Tanzu Build Service works, and why it provides significant advantages for enterprises considering containerization.