If your organization has been leveraging myriad cloud computing benefits, one question may arise: how do you more easily, reliably - and securely - run software, applications, and dependencies from one computing environment to another? Cloud containers can provide a solution, but they raise a few questions of their own. Let’s find some answers.
What Are Cloud Containers?
Think of shipping containers. Their standardized sizes and configurations make it easy to safely pack and ship items - from smartphones and sneakers to furniture and mixed lots. Trying to pack these onto open pallets and stick them on a ship would be a logistical nightmare, not to mention it would elevate the risk of damage and loss.
Now, a cloud container is essentially the same idea. You can bundle most of your software/application codes and dependencies into a single container (just not the full operating system, software, and software your software relies on). This bundle enables you to run your software/application codes and dependencies anywhere. And like a cargo ship, you can fit multiple containers into a single computer. Unlike virtualization machines (VMs), there is only one operating system on the server, and the containers communicate with it directly.
What does this mean for your organization?
Cloud Computing: Benefits of Containerization
Containers can transcend virtual environments, bare metal servers, and public clouds like AWS, Azure, Google, and vSphere. Benefits include:
- Portability. Everything applications need to run is packaged up in a container. You can work with them on different environments (e.g., physical or virtual servers, production environments, public or private clouds, your desktop), giving your workers the flexibility they need to streamline development and transition to another cloud solution if necessary.
- Efficiency. Containers are lean, mean efficiency machines. As mentioned, you can run multiple containers on one server, thus reducing your hardware, bare metal, and data center costs.
- Isolation. While containers share the same server and resources, they are isolated. So, if one crashes or is breached, the others keep running without a hitch. Negative events in one do not spread. This is a tremendous boon to security.
- Speed. Cloud containers are fast, and they empower you to reach new speeds when it comes to your business goals. You can create, start, replicate, or destroy containers in seconds. You can also streamline your software and version development processes, implement faster fixes, reduce time to market, and accelerate operational pace overall.
- Horizontal Scaling. This enables you to add identical containers to scale out. Run what you need when you need it, reduce resource costs, and boost your return on investment (ROI).
From simplifying operations and quickly applying security patches and updates to improving developer productivity and enhancing security, cloud containers can help your organization achieve a variety of mission-critical goals.
But there are challenges of which to be aware. Like the shift to virtualization a decade go, new processes and competencies are required. R2 Unified Technologies is your partner in helping you find, implement, and manage the container solutions you need to move with agility and speed.