Just as virtualization technology did a few years ago, container technology is changing the way IT pros carry out daily operations. Virtual machines are siloed, each with their own OS, whereas containers share the same OS, libraries, components, etc. Although there are many benefits of virtual machines, many SMBs are considering the true value of containers. Do they make processes faster? Is sharing libraries safe? Do they promote flexible IT? What about OpEx?
Here’s what you need to know about containers:
1. It speeds up DevOps
Arguably the most celebrated function of containers is the ability to move from development to deployment—quickly and efficiently. The technology enables IT to migrate to full-blown, live operation status without shutting down. This speeds up delivery, scale and response, enabling you to focus on driving value for your customers. Also, containers can be mirrored, updated and deployed without interruption. This is a huge advantage when compared to traditional virtualization.
2. It’s all about sharing and agility
Cloud? On-prem? A hybrid of both? No problem. Containers make data centers measurably more agile. This is because containers, depending on the application, can share the same libraries, components and operating systems, while virtual machines are siloed. If virtual machines can reach several gigabytes in size, a container may be only tens of megabytes in size. Therefore, a single server can host much more containers—all because of the size difference. This results in a lower usage of resources, which is always a plus in IT.
3. One virus can spoil the bunch
As much as we’re touting sharing and container technology, there are some drawbacks. Since containers share libraries, etc., they can also share corruption or intrusion. If a bug or virus enters production, all containers are vulnerable. Virtual machines are siloed and don’t share this risk.
4. It’s worth the learning curve
Sure, there’s a learning curve when it comes to containers—but isn’t that true with most technology? It may be worth it for the OpEx alone. If you’re worried about screwing things up, test it in the cloud for little to no cost.
What’s more important, clock speed or core count? Read our pro Q&A on the topic.