Everyone has heard of containers, but no-one really understands what containers are?
The rise of stacks of containers as a technology is good but confusing to many because the majority simply don’t understand containers as a concept or a technology.
Simplified; containers let you pack loads more computing workloads onto a single server meaning less hardware, less space, and less manpower.
Containers is the better way to define an application and to transport it between servers. They slice’s your application into small elements and manages distributed to one or more servers, which in turn improves resource usage and can even reduce costs.
There are some clear differences between containers and virtual machines though. Linux containers give each application, its own isolated environment in which to run, but multiple containers share the host servers’ operating system. No need to boot up an operating system, now you can create containers in seconds unlike virtual machines.
Faster, less memory space, higher-level isolation and highly portable.
Containers allow developers to quickly build applications in a portable and lightweight manner, speeding up the application building process. However, despite this, containers are not able to solve the complexities of taking an application from build through test to production, which presents a range of management challenges for developers and operations engineers looking to use them.
There is certainly potential for containers within the enterprise environment, but as with all emerging technologies there is a certain level of confusion as to how they will integrate within the current business model, and how the introduction will impact the IT department on a day-to-day basis.
While containers allow you to use discovery services or roll your own solutions, the need to monitor and manage them in an automated way remains a challenge for IT teams. At Chef, we understand the benefits containers can bring to developers and are excited to help them automate many of the complex elements that are necessary to support containerized workflows in production”
Vendors are confident that the introduction of containers will drive further efficiencies and speed within the industry, though we’re yet to see a firm commitment from the mass market to demonstrate the technology will take off. The early adopter uptake is promising, and there are case studies to demonstrate the much lauded potential, but it’s still early days.
In short, containers are good, but most people just need to learn what they are.