Container Technology- a Force to Reckon With

Jul 28,2021 by Manoj Yadav

Software applications may pose variety of issues when these are being ported to different environments. Businesses find that their resources are being wasted since there is a considerable loss of time and efforts that are required to resolve such issues.

Container technology can ensure smooth porting of applications to diverse environments and therefore it being accepted by more and more businesses. 

Understanding basics of containers

Issues of running software across varied environments can be effectively resolved by container technology. It is considered to be an innovative and groundbreaking solution to address problems faced by developers while porting applications to new environments.

The porting issues have been narrated at length by Solomon Hykes, founder of Docker. The organization is responsible for growing popularity of container technology. 

According to Solomon, if you are testing an application in Python 2.7 that is going to run on Python 3 in the production environment, then something strange will happen. Similar issues have been observed during porting of applications that involved SSL, Debian, and Red Hat.

Application will only depend upon the operating system of the host. The operating system is designed to be shared by multiple applications that are part of the container. However, these apps can have their individual environments. 

Benefits of containerization

Containerization helps businesses address some of the most pestering issues in terms of software applications. Modern businesses are in constant pursuit of mitigating software issues, costs of hardware, software, time required for development and bug fixing, and so forth. Organizations are also keen to improve adaptability of   applications to various environments and the time period required to launch the software product. 

Compatibility across environments

Software may have to face multiple issues following their porting into other environment. These could be related to appearance of bugs, failure of features, or even crash of software. The underlying reason for such eventualities could be the difference between source environment and host environment in terms of configuration, code, technology, or files, to name a few. 

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Containers address the issue of cross environment compatibility by taking the host-environment differences out of the equation. In order to achieve this, the container offers immunity to apps by accommodating these within itself and providing everything required for smooth functioning of apps. Container is only sharing the operating system of the host’s environment. 

Optimization of resources

It is observed that a significant portion of time and efforts are wasted in trying to fix issues that result on account of cross environment compatibility. Containers obviate dependency of apps on host environment and eliminate these issues. Organizations are able to utilize resources more effectively. 

Ability to expedite commercial availability 

Thanks to container technology, commercial acquisition of apps can be accelerated by reducing the time required for fixing issues. Businesses are in better position to meet General Availability deadlines and send the applications to market without spending unnecessary efforts and time in handling issues. 

Cost optimization

Container offers everything that is required to run apps and needs only the host’s operating system. It enables sharing of its resources by several apps that can reside within itself and help reduce huge costs that are required to establish infrastructure of servers, storage, hardware, and operating systems. Container supports a large number of apps by providing individual resources to them. 

Attributes of container technology

Containers offer greater efficiency than hypervisors in virtual machines, since these use shared operating systems. Containers obviate almost all VM Hosting junk to facilitate a small and clean capsule that accommodates an application.

It should be noted that containers are based on isolated Linux instance and hence do not result in hardware virtualization. It is possible to have multiple server application instances by using VMS such as Xen or KVM on the same hardware if you are able to build a perfectly tuned container system, according to James Bottomley, CTO at Parallels.

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Containers are only a few megabytes in size and hence do not exert load on resources. Containers work independent of host environment and can contain multiple apps. 

Poised for popularity

Docker has been responsible in establishing containers as a significantly potential solution. Containers are going to be highly sought after solutions in time to come. The reason for the projected popularity of containers can be attributed to the amazing level efficiency put into these by Docker. 

Container solutions designed by Docker are designed to be compatible with majority of DevOps applications including Vagrant, Ansible, Chef, Puppet, and alternatively these can also be implemented for managing environments. Docker facilitates simplification of tasks performed by these applications. 

It is possible to establish local development environments that are precisely identical to a local server. One can also use a single host to run several development environments from the same host by assigning unique software, test projects, configurations and more. It allows anybody to work on a particular project without changing settings irrespective of local host environment.  

Containers are open source solutions and have great potential do bloom into a wonderful resource due to contributions from large number of developers. Businesses are always in search of solutions that are not resource intensive and are able to guarantee efficiency and speed of performance. 

Containers are also going to evolve with respect to certain security issues that are posed due to sharing of kernels. We can certainly expect number of container solutions to be developed in future.

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