Many big companies such as IBM and Google are using container software. Containers help companies run software in different computing environments by making new computing environments similar to old ones. According to Silicon Angle, container software (also called package software) takes “the entire runtime environment, which means the app itself, all of its dependencies, libraries, binaries and configuration files, and bundles it together in a single package that can run on any operating system.”
Containers can be used for simplifying testing and making software development easier. Containers make running different software on the same IT infrastructure easier by reducing conflicts between the different software.
Containers And The Cloud
A native cloud application (NCA) is a program that is built directly for the cloud. NCA programs are designed to utilize the cloud framework.
The cloud offers much better scalability, security, and reliability than tradition information technology infrastructures. Because more operations can be automated in the cloud, it’s easier to use the public cloud. IT departments are also creating hybrid public clouds with containers/private clouds to run their applications. The cloud is also using containers to run applications across distributed systems.
Containers and Virtual Machines
Containers are comparable to virtual machines (VMs) but there are differences. For example, containers don’t include the operating systems. Containers are essentially software abstractions, while VMs are hardware abstractions. Many containers can operate on the same machine. VMs need the help of a hypervisor to run on a single machine.
Containers require fewer resources than virtual machines because the operating systems aren’t included. VMs often require gigabytes while containers normally need just several megabytes. In other words, one server can hold many different containers.
- Containers generally are more flexible, easier to install, operate, and manage than virtual machines.
- Containers are ideal for hosting applications which are built to be scalable.
- VMs are generally more secure than containers.
Some IT departments are creating hybrid container/VM environments.
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