As organizations continue their move to the cloud, containerization has become an integral component of this strategy. The benefits of working with containers far outweigh the potential risks. When built correctly, containers are very secure and enable speed and flexibility in development. Modularizing applications into small microservices allows you to modify or remove features without disturbing the application as a whole. Containers will be a significant part of both DevOps and Agile moving forward, and the following benefits are the primary contributing reasons.
Agility and Scalability
It is far faster to provision new resources and deploy code with containers. The time it takes to start and scale a container can be a matter of seconds. With the complex procedures involved in allocating resources, a new virtual machine can take weeks to be provisioned. The higher build velocity also enables lower costs as developers are not bogged down with extra work. The small size of containers means thousands of them can be created without incurring additional overhead. Speed and agility are essential to keep operations smooth.
Consistency and Isolation
Containers essentially provide a sandbox environment for developers to work, isolating each project away from other applications. This means they are not drawing from critical resources such as CPU, storage, or memory to perform their work. Developers can work in predictable environments no matter where the application is deployed, as individual software dependencies can be included. This consistency means fewer bugs to diagnose and allows developers to make assumptions in their test environments that will be consistent in production.
Portability and Flexibility
Containers can run in nearly any environment, which makes for much easier development and deployment. They can run on virtual machines, the public cloud, bare metal, and even the leading operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and Mac. When an application runs in a container, it can be deployed across multiple operating systems or hardware platforms. These applications will run the same regardless of where they are deployed because containers carry all of their dependencies with them. They can also be moved from system to system with very little friction, providing added flexibility.
Most enterprises are currently running on virtual machines, but these benefits make a move to containers a necessity. Virtual machines need to include an operating system, whereas containers only require additional dependencies outside of the OS. This makes them much lighter, enabling faster deployment and more effortless scalability. Both of which are significant contributors to increased productivity and lower costs.
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