Just what the heck are containers anyway?
There’s a lot of buzz in the IT world lately surrounding containers. The technology is rapidly replacing traditional virtual machines (VM’s) as the architecture of choice for many business applications. Like Virtual Machines, containers have the advantages of isolating applications from the host, increasing security and protecting against applications interfering with each other. So, what are the main differences? I’ll explain in a moment! Without getting into too much detail, here are the top 5 reasons to consider containers for the next IT upgrade at your business.
1. Containers are smaller
One of the main differences between a container and a virtual machine is that containers in general tend to be much lighter. Because containers don’t operate with a full guest operating system (they ship only with the bare minimum code required to make the application run), in most cases you can fit many more containers on a host server than you would be able to with virtual machines. As a business owner, reducing your IT workload can save you money!
2. Containers are portable
Probably the coolest feature when it comes to containers is that they are completely portable. Need to move your application to the cloud? No problem! Want to switch from a Linux server to a Windows Server and vice-versa? Yep, containers can do that too! Containers can be picked up and dropped just about anywhere! So you can worry less the next time that important Line of Business (LOB) application needs to be moved to a new server!
3. Containers are cheaper
But how!? Well first off, for the same reasons mentioned in tip #1 – containers are lighter than traditional VM’s and use less resources, allowing you to run more applications on one server. But there’s also something else that’s really cool about containers: Because there is not technically a ‘guest’ operating system, licensing costs can be greatly reduced. All of this translates into a big cost savings!
4. Containers are faster
Containers can be spun up much faster than a traditional virtual machine! For the same reasons that make containers super-lightweight (see tip #1 again), they can be created and destroyed very quickly on the fly without having to be “provisioned” in the same way as VM’s. This not only makes patching and updating your business applications happen much more quickly, but it is especially useful if you have an application that needs to scale up quickly!
5. Containers can be updated more easily
Need to deploy a critical application patch but you’re worried it’s going to take your business down for the count? No problem! Simply spin up a second copy of the container hosting your application and test out the patch on the copy! Once you’re certain the ‘clone’ is working correctly, you can delete it as quickly as you created it. Containers can make your critical applications more resilient!
With all of the things that make containers magical, they might not be a great fit for everyone. At Perfect Leap™, we specialize in migrating companies to a container and cloud DevOps style of IT management. To learn whether containers can benefit your business, reach out to us today!