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Containerization – empowering startups to develop fast and deploy faster

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Containers allow startups to pivot quickly without worrying about the need to redesign their application from scratch. Containerization results in agile development pipelines, and faster production deployments.

Startups are fast paced. They strive to grow and innovate swiftly and seamlessly Startups require IT environments that enable agility and the ability to scale. Containerization has been in trend lately, due to its increased flexibility in environment management, cost-efficiency, and easier scaling. Startups can capitalize on all these to grow faster and attain the desired scale. With funding winters being in the news and startups going on a drive towards better management of costs, containerization is a technology that they would be keen to consider.

Containers allow startups to pivot quickly without worrying about the need to redesign their application from scratch. Containerization results in agile development pipelines, and faster production deployments.

Containerization enables startups to have a dynamic outlook towards application development and deployment. Netflix is one example that successfully embraced containerization for their services – and named it ‘Titus’. Titus runs video streaming, content-encoding, recommendations, and machine learning (ML), studio technology, and big data in multiple containers, creating and deploying up to 200,000 clusters and half a million containers per day.

Here’s how containerization can address startups’ challenges and help them to achieve desired results.

Building consistency: One of the major issues that startups face while developing an application is differences in the environments between development, testing, and production. Even a minor setback in any environment can result in deployment delays. With containers, the testing and production environment is the same. Hence, a well-documented and consistent environment makes it easy to identify issues and keep track of the application.

Scalability: Startups eventually grow into enterprises, and they need the environment to grow with them. For instance, if the startup expects a sudden spike in traffic due to a flash sale or sudden popularity, the underlying environment won’t be able to handle the surge in traffic, leading to server failure. Containerization lets you add multiple identical containers having the same application packaged inside to handle the load simultaneously. As containers are lightweight, it does not take a lot of resources to create new ones.

Portability: Portability is one of the benefits of containers that enables the ‘build once, run everywhere’ philosophy. So, a container image created on a Linux machine can be later deployed to Windows, Mac, or any other operating system, which was previously not possible with non-containerized application.

Environment-agnostic: Containers can run anywhere – be it cloud or on-premises. It helps with immense flexibility and business advantage to the applications deployed via containers, enabling the startup to choose its environment without having to prefer one over the other.

Faster Deployment: Containers help startups to embrace new processes to application development such as DevOps and continuous integration, continuous delivery (CI/CD) framework. With the help of container orchestrating tools such as Kubernetes, startups can automate the process of managing and scaling containers in real-time.

It gives startup the ability to orchestrate containers and compartmentalize their application into smaller microservices. The agility and faster deployments allow startups to rapidly roll-out new developments and security patches to improve end-customer experience.

Conclusion

Not just Netflix, almost all startups are, in one way or other, looking to enhance their IT environment and start their digital transformation journey. The focus is to move away from legacy applications and adopt new ways of development such as DevOps, micro-services and containerization. Startups are exploring new use cases, from managing analytics to running AI algorithms, and deploying them with the help of containers in various on-premises or cloud environments. With such technology initiatives, startups are well poised to create the right technology framework to support their growth of scaling fast and becoming future unicorns.

As written by Neelesh Kripalani, Chief Technology Officer at Clover Infotech, and published in ET CIO

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