Containers 101: What you need to know


Applications contain a certain set of concerns pertaining to both developers and IT operations teams, where each of them are supposed to need to work separately. Containers basically offers a logical packaging where the applications are abstracted from the environment in which they run and decouple it. The decoupling helps the container-based applications to be deployed easily regardless of the target environment- private data center, public cloud or a developer’s personal laptop. In this process, containerization provides a clean separation of concerns, where developers focus on the logic and dependencies whereas IT operations team focus on development and management without having to bother about application details such as software versions and configurations specially to the app. Containers are basically a lighter version of VM’s which offer a myriad benefit for both developers and IT Ops teams to work with.

Why use containers?

Due to the clear abstraction they offer, containers streamlines the process of build, test, deploy and redeploying of applications on multiple environments- from a developer’s local laptop to an on-premises data center and also the cloud.

Less resources leading to less overhead:

Containers don’t include operating system images, so they require less system resources than the traditional or hardware VM environments.

Ease of use and portability

Whatever applications are running on containers, they can easily be deployed to multiple operating systems and hardware platforms.

More consistent operation

Regardless of where the applications are deployed, it offers a consistent experience to DevOps.

Greater efficiency:

They are simple to use and execute which allows applications to be more rapidly deployed, patched, or scaled.

Agile Application development

Container usage accelerate the development, test and production cycles and supports DecOps efforts.


Below listed a few scenarios where organizations use containers:

Modernize existing applications using ““Lift and shift”

Several organizations use containers to migrate applications into modern environments.  Some organizations use containers to migrate existing applications into more modern environments. While this practice delivers some of the basic benefits of operating system virtualization, it does not offer the full benefits of a modular, container-based application architecture.

Refactor existing applications for containers and develop new container-native applications

Refactoring is much more intensive than lift-and-shift migration, it enables the full benefits of a container environment. You can also develop new container-native applications to unlock the full benefits of containers.

Provide better support for microservices architectures

This approach can easily isolate, deploy and scale Distributed applications and microservices using individual container building blocks.

Provide easier deployment of repetitive jobs and tasks

Containers are being deployed to support one or more similar processes, which often run in the background, such as ETL functions or batch jobs. It also provides DevOps support for continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) supports streamlined build, test, and deployment from the same container images.

Containers, Kubernetes and Docker

Docker and Kubernetes are the most popular tools and platforms used to build and manage containers.
Docker is a popular runtime environment that is used to create and build software inside containers. It uses something called Docker images which is typically  a copy-on-write snapshots used to deploy containerized applications or software in multiple environments, right from the development to test and production. It was built on open standards inside the most common Operating environments like Linux, Microsoft Windows, and other on-prem or cloud-based infrastructures.

Containerized applications can get complicated when in production as it might require hundreds to thousands of separate containers in production. Docker orchestrate or manage all the containers in operation and was in popular demand.

Kubernetes is a container orchestrator that recognizes multiple container runtime environments, including Docker.  Kubernetes orchestrates the operation of multiple containers in harmony together. It manages areas like the use of underlying infrastructure resources for containerized applications such as the amount of compute, network, and storage resources required. Orchestration tools like Kubernetes make it easier to automate and scale container-based workloads for live production environments.

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