Cloud containers are an improvement on virtual machines. They make it possible to run software dependably and independently in all types of computing environments.
Cloud containers are trendy technology in the IT world. The world's top technology organizations, including Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and many others all use containers. Containers have also seen expanded use in software supply chains and eCommerce. They guarantee a seamless, easy, and surefire way to deploy apps on the cloud without the limitations of infrastructural requirements.
What are Cloud Containers?
Containers share server operating systems in a lightweight, resource-free cycle that can be started instantaneously. This essentially improves agility and resource usage during application deployment. Container images carry an application and its system components and designs in a standardized and isolated arrangement. When applications are deployed through container images, the applications can be run reliably in various environments.
The Evolution: Physical machine > Virtual Machines> Containers
Decades ago, applications used to be installed in physical machines in data centers. Back then, the ability to run business applications on such physical infrastructure was seen as next-level innovation. Then, costs climbed over the roof: too many apps, too many machines, and limited flexibility and speed in resource utilization.
Cloud computing entered the scene with new possibilities. Among them was the virtualization technology. Applications would be run on virtual machines (VMs) with improved and agile resource utilization. Even so, VMs were nearly just as laborious as physical machines; apps need to be manually configured, installed, and managed. This limited delivery speed and increased costs.
Cloud computing technology matured, and this maturation introduced containers.
Containers are like virtual machines but better. An application's code, dependencies, and configurations can be packaged into a single unit and run in a container. Unlike VMs that require an operating system installed in each, containers share a single OS on the server. Containers operate as resource-isolated processes. They are agile and reliable and lead to efficient app deployment.
Why Use Containers Rather Than VMs?
Containers help to save costs. Contrasted with VMs, cloud containers utilize fewer assets since they don't use a complete OS, they have quicker startup times, require less upkeep, and are genuinely compact. A container application can be written only a single time and afterward deployed repeatedly in any place.
A container is no more than a few megabytes in terms of size, on the other hand, a virtual machine with its whole working frame-work might be several gigabytes in size. Along these lines, one server can hold unquestionably a more significant number of containers than virtual machines.
Another significant advantage is that virtual machines may take a long time to boot up their working frameworks and start running their applications. In contrast, containerized applications can be started in a split second. That implies that cloud containers can be started up instantly when required and can be removed when they are not needed, helping to free up assets and save costs.
Another advantage is that containerization leads to better isolation and modularity. As opposed to running a whole intricate application inside one container, the application can be divided into modules.
This is the microservices approach, and applications run this way are much easier to oversee because every module is generally simpler. Changes can be made to modules without rebuilding the whole application. Since containers are lightweight, singular modules (or microservices) can be started up just when required. Availability is instantaneous.
IT frameworks regularly experience both surprising and unexpected traffic surges in the digital era, for example, eCommerce operations over the holidays. Cloud containers give full play to distributed computing versatility and decrease costs by optimizing resource consumption and deployment flexibility.
For instance, with the current exponential growth of online traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic, learning institutions can use cloud containers to effectively support online classes for thousands of students across the country.
Suppose you have to deploy an application that was initially intended to run on a dedicated server into a cloud domain. In that case, odds are you will have to use a virtual machine in light of the OS, code, libraries, and dependencies needs of the app.
But if you are writing new code to run in cloud architecture, containers will make your work easy. Today most businesses have their cloud-native apps deployed in containers.
One Important thing to bear in mind…
Above we’ve reviewed the most prominent pros of cloud containers, but we cannot conclude this article without mentioning the security issue. Containers are more vulnerable than VM’s in the sense that they have a larger attack surface than VMs. Because they share an OS, a single compromised container can affect the entire machine.
Container management solutions exist today to help businesses secure and manage containers hands-free.
At Cloudride, we can help guide you through on everything related to the best utilization of cloud containers and other solutions, and help you better manage your cloud environment in the most secure and cost-effective manner. We specialize in AWS, MS-AZURE, GCP, and other ISVs.
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