Redefining On-prem Software
Onprem.org seeks to redefine commercial “on-prem” software for the Kubernetes age. Commercial on-prem software is no longer the old-school, client-server based software that was installed into a server racked in a closet. Modern approaches to on-prem software leverage cloud-native architectures and security best practices to streamline the management and distribution of software, often into VPC environments. Beyond defining this trend and establishing best practices, we also hope to galvanize a community of enterprises and vendors interested in advancing this updated approach to enterprise software.
Modern On-prem management seeks to blend the data security of traditional on-prem software with the operational ease of using multi-tenant SaaS software.
With traditional on-prem software, IT teams manually operated each application separately. With modern on-prem IT teams operate Kubernetes and Kubernetes automatically operates all the 3rd-party applications.
With SaaS, enterprises were sending data out to thousands of vendor-hosted applications. With Modern On-prem, applications are delivered to clusters controlled by the companies where the data already resides.
Setting up a system to manage and secure Modern On-prem apps can be complex. We’ve outlined the best practices we’ve collected for risk & reliability assessments, cluster setup, GitOps deployment and BeyondCorp style network security.
Software Vendor Impact
Modern On-prem delivery leverages existing work to move application architectures to Kubernetes. Once using Kubernetes, most vendors recognize that they are able to distribute their application images and manifests to enterprises. These manifests contain the operational knowledge of the application and can be used to automate the operations of deploying a private instance.
Modern On-prem has a variety of benefits for Vendors including better customer experience, more automation, reduced data liability, better margins and a higher average selling price. Nevertheless, Vendors deliver Modern On-prem software because many major enterprises and government agencies prefer it to both traditional on-prem and SaaS offerings.
Making the transition to Modern On-prem for traditional on-prem vendors (ISVs) or for SaaS companies can be a challenge. There a are a host of technical and operational considerations that must be accounted for to deliver Modern On-prem software to hundreds or thousands of enterprises.
Kubernetes has quickly become the common substrate for commercial enterprise software distribution. In this model, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) are able to provide highly automated versions of their applications that require ever-decreasing amounts of manual operations. As such, the best implementations of Modern On-prem put Kubernetes at the center. The application vendor creates a Kubernetes based application (aka Kubernetes Off-The-Shelf Software or KOTS) and distributes it to an enterprise to deploy into their existing Kubernetes cluster. Kubernetes is a natural choice for this–it is becoming the industry standard for the patterns and primitives for creating truly reliable applications at scale.