All You Need to Know About Containers
Visualize this: In the coming two years, more than 500 million new applications will be built — a number equal to total applications developed in the last four decades.
This explosion in applications will be the result of businesses’ efforts to turn into “digital innovation factories”. Intrinsically, businesses will create digital products and services with speed and scale that will be at the heart of their digital value proposition. And a number of these applications will be built and deployed in containers.
Container-powered infrastructure is pulling enormous interest world-wide because containers enable agile and automated deployment of modern applications at scale and economy. A single server can host several containers as compared to virtual machines (VMs) for higher utilization. Considering the speed, efficiency, and practicality of containers in managing cloud-native applications, businesses are adopting containers at never before rates.
Here are five things that you must know about containers:
Containers Enhance Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) Processes:
Containers Refashion Legacy Applications:
Containers Create Dependable and Resilient Environments:
Containers – A Better Option for Virtualization:
Containers Offer Superior Performance:
The advancement in continuous integration and continuous delivery processes has enabled developers to implement and deliver applications rapidly and frequently. Containers drive CI/CD advantages further via portability. When each container can be seamlessly and dependably moved to different platforms, like between a developer’s device and a private/public cloud, CI/CD processes become seamless.
Containers can also be replicated or scaled without suspending other processes, and each container’s individuality enables applications to be developed, tested, deployed, and modified simultaneously, thereby eliminating interruptions and delays. By utilizing containers combined with CI/CD, the entire software delivery life cycle (SDLC) speeds up, with lesser manual tasks, and challenges of migrating between different environments.
Most businesses don’t have the luxury to build “all-new” applications for cloud-based platforms. Rather they prefer migrating existing or legacy applications to the cloud. Many applications can utilize the ‘lift and shift’ approach to the cloud, signifying that most will need to be radically refactored to benefit from the cloud features as code alterations are made. The applications are revamped, recoded, and repurposed for cloud platforms giving the application – a new purpose.
This is not easy, and there are innovative technologies that need to be considered. Applications are enabled to externalize APIs, and microservices allow applications to leverage the best functionality on cloud platforms. Containerization of the applications guarantees a seamless distributed architecture and cloud-to-cloud portability.
Containerizing legacy applications comes with several benefits, such as reducing complexity by utilizing container abstractions. The containers eliminate the dependencies on the underlying infrastructure services, which further lessens the complications of dealing with those platforms. This implies that developers can abstract the access to resources, like storage, from the application itself. This makes the application portable, but at the same time also speeds the refactoring of the applications.
With the help of Kubernetes, containers can either operate on the same server and utilize similar resources or can even be distributed. Individual containers allow the parallel development of applications and ensure that a break down in one application does not disturb or cause a failure in other containers. This isolation also enables teams to quickly detect and fix technical problems without triggering any downtime in other areas.
Containers offer the best of both worlds, enabling resource sharing while reducing downtime and permitting teams to prolong developing innovative functions. The result is highly-efficient environments that enable teams to march forward with software development and delivery, although other teams are caught up testing or fixing errors.
In the conventional approach of virtualization, a hypervisor virtualizes physical hardware. Every virtual machine holds a guest OS, a computer-generated copy of the hardware that the OS needs to stream, and an application and its related libraries and dependencies.
Rather than virtualizing the fundamental hardware, containers virtualize the operating system (usually Linux), so every independent container encompasses only the application along with its libraries and dependencies. Containers are slim, speedy, and portable because, as opposed to virtual machines, containers don’t require a guest OS in every instance and can utilize the features and resources of the host OS.
Just like virtual machines, containers enable developers to enhance CPU and memory utilization. However, containers go a step further because they also power microservice architectures, where application components can be employed and scaled more minutely. This is a lucrative option to scale up a monolithic application because a single component takes the load.
The slashed resource load is a key reason for businesses to leverage containerized platforms over virtual machines. Containers provide more than ten times the density suggesting that developers can operate up to ten times more containers in a single host.
Additionally, hypervisors are susceptible to latency issues. As compared to virtual machines, containers considerably reduce latency. Furthermore, containers load much faster than virtual machines. Containers thus offer a substantial boost in performance by decreasing the resource load and latency. And the quicker load time caters to a seamless user experience.
Containers will continue to grab market share from conventional virtualization technologies. This technology is already fast-tracking digital transformation and application modernization efforts for several businesses and across diverse applications. We may not physically see containers being utilized, but the truth be told, we utilize them every day. Be it Google or Netflix, we are using containers every day in the back end.
The adoption of containers is real and is revolutionizing how businesses are deploying IT infrastructure. From rapidly delivering applications to amplifying development to deployment processes, to slashing infrastructure and software costs, containers offer brilliant business outcomes to application developers.