Containerization is a simple way to separate personal and workspaces within a single machine, with each not being able to access the other. It does so by creating a separate secure area called containers which is accessible only by the admin and which cannot access anything outside it. All the interactions between the user and the corporate data take place within this encrypted container and the bounds of the permissions granted to the user.
A container is an isolated, lightweight silo for running an application on the host operating system. In contrast to containers, Virtual Machines (VMs) run a complete operating system–including its kernel–on this host hardware. If you had to ship 2 t-shirts from one place to another, a VM would load on a ship (hardware) two unnecessarily large containers (OS with its kernel) and keep one t-shirt (applications) in each. While what containerization would do is, load on the ship one container and then have separate locked boxes for each t-shirt. Using this method of containerization provides speed, lower costs, portability, easier deployment, maintainability and if need be, deletion.
How do containers reduce cost and time to profit?
Containers need fewer copies of the operating systems, meaning lesser licenses, and also fewer resources to run. The machines will get more amount of useful work done too. Easier and automated management techniques also mean cost-effective maintenance. Decomposing things to the level of containers means easier development and deployment, making human resources more cost-effective too. Most importantly, containers make your move to the cloud easier, and moving to the cloud means paying for only what you use in most cases.
Containerization not only leads to lower costs but also increases profits by reducing the time to profit. It removes the roadblocks between development and deployment by making the dependencies between the two smaller and easier to handle. These roadblocks are a major factor of a slowdown as developers want to create the best product and the operations team want to create the most stable one, leading to a deadlock sometimes. It also increases operational velocity as it becomes easier to add new features to applications in containers and test them. This is possible because containers are discreet and developers only need to update one thing at a time without caring about how other processes are affected.
Netflix also uses containers to test its features on 10% of the customers and check the response.
How do containers help with predictability and dependability?
These factors come from the way containers work. Each application has a separate environment with everything it needs to run and all of these container environments are independent to avoid affecting or altering each other. Moreover, the containers can be moved from one place to another, without affecting the application functioning. It is easier to set the rules and conditions of the container and once set, the can’t be changed thus avoiding non-standard systems. Debugging the issues is faster since the sources of the issues are not many.
It’s become increasingly important for business leaders beyond the technical side to understand application containerization. The same features that make containerization an important tool for developers also create immense, and often untapped, business value and I hope that this article helped you with understanding that. Comment down below if you think containers can help your business and as the title track of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. says, “I’ll be there for you”.