Organizations today are moving at breakneck speed to stay relevant and stay ahead of the competition. IT leaders across the globe are embracing new technologies to pivot themselves towards radical approach to business and create innovative products and services. This move requires agility and flexibility to help organizations to scale and adapt quickly to changing business scenarios. Organizations must build fast and deploy faster to maintain the pace and growth. Containerization is one such example of innovative technologies that is helping IT leaders with speed and agility. Containerization has been in trend lately, due to its increased flexibility in environment management, cost-efficiency, and easier scaling.
What is Containerization?
Containerization involves packaging up software code and all its dependencies to run it consistently on any infrastructure. It allows developers to create and deploy applications faster and more securely.
Containers are lightweight, portable, and highly conducive to automation. As a result, containerization has become a ‘go-to’ driver for development and deployment pipelines and application infrastructure.
Why containerization is vital for business agility?
Containerization is more efficient than virtualization. It focuses on breaking down operating systems into blocks that can be used more efficiently. Additionally, an application container provides a way to package apps in a portable, software-defined environment which can be scaled-on-demand later.
- Containers have everything an app needs to run, including its binaries, libraries, dependencies, and configuration files – all stored and isolated in a container.
- Containers are inherently lighter than a VM and require less start-up time, allowing far more containers to run on the same compute capacity as a single VM.
- Developers can run the containerized application on various types of infrastructures, such as on bare metal, in the cloud or within virtual machines (VMs), without refactoring it for each environment.
- Application containerization abstracts the container away from the host operating system, with limited access to underlying resources – which makes it a lightweight virtual machine.
Application containerization: Containerization allows applications to be ‘written once and run anywhere.’ This portability is beneficial for development process and vendor compatibility. Containerized applications are isolated and do not bundle in a copy of the operating system. This reduces the overhead of running an operating system within each application, driving higher server efficiencies. The isolation of applications using containers also reduces the chance of cyber-attacks as malicious activity triggered in one container wont impact other containers in the host system.
Containers on Cloud: The isolation feature of containers makes it easy for a containerized application to run uniformly and consistently across any cloud environment. Developers can easily transport containers from a computer to a virtual machine (VM) or from a Linux to a Windows operating system.
This allows developers to create and deploy applications in any environment – be it a traditional monolith architecture or a modular microservices one. New cloud-based applications (born-in-cloud) can be built from the ground up using containerized microservices. And existing applications can be repurposed and repackaged into containers.
Fault isolation: Containerization helps each containerized application to run and operate independently of others. The failure of one container does not affect the continued operation of any other containers. Development teams can identify and correct issues within one container without any downtime in other containers.
Ease of management: A container orchestration platform such as Kubernetes, Docker, Amazon ECS helps development teams to automate the installation, scaling, and management of containerized workloads. Container orchestration platforms enables teams to ease development and deployment activities such as scaling containerized apps, rolling out new versions, monitoring, logging, and debugging, and so on.
The adoption of containerization is growing rapidly. Most organizations have already started their digital transformation journey and containerization will help them to accelerate it. It will provide organizations with the momentum they require to become digital-native enterprises.