Containerization: Introduction, Use cases, and Workflow Explained

June 14, 2022 | Comments(0) |

Introduction

Container technology provides a way for you to package your applications. You can put it into individual packets that are functionally capable and independent.

What if we say there is a possibility to set up a virtualized Operating System (OS) inside an existing system that imitates its functionality like an entirely new system? In simple words, what if you could run an OS virtually inside an existing OS? It would help you save tons of development time and cost, not to mention maintaining the consistency of software code in all developer systems across your application infrastructure.

What is Containerization technology?

Containerization is all about packaging the requirements of an application under development in the form of a base image. This image can run in an isolated space (containers) on different systems. It is crucial to remember that these containers share the same OS. Most IT leaders are intrigued by this technology because it is often used for deploying and running a distributed app without having to use a Virtual Machine (VM).

Containerization in DevOps

Containerized files would be in the form of a base image. This image can be shared through an organization across developers, operations teams, and anyone involved in the project. This whole schema is an upgraded methodology of DevOps wherein containers help to bring together various teams and the required development and operational files. Building on this mythology for integrating and deploying new features into an app faster gave birth to Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD). The three main factors that influence containers to play a role in DevOps are,

  • Dependency: Libraries, configurations, runtime engine, program tools, etc. of an app bundled can be shared with N number of systems using the same OS. Increases collaboration!
  • Disposability: Easy to pull any data and app requirement in a system and discard the entire container from running when the system does not require anything additional. Reduces investment!
  • Concurrency: Containers use CPU power efficiently, unlike VMs. This has proven to help create auto-scale abilities with any architecture model, especially while using the cloud. Improves automated development!

Containerized Platform – Docker

An open-sourced containerized platform that combines the source code of an app with the existing OS and its respective libraries and dependencies. Docker lets the said code run on any computing environment.

Explore Docker Fundamentals, Use Cases, And Docker Commands 

Advantages of using Containerization

  • Monolithic or legacy applications could be containerized using microservice architecture, making room for future scaling. 
  • Reduction in infrastructure cost since many containers can run on a single machine or even a Virtual Machine (VM). 
  • Containers are not dependent on any particular OS and can run on any OS, given the container engine runs on a host OS. 
  • Containers are lightweight and faster as they prove to be ready for computation in under seconds.
  • Using containers enables us to cut costs. Virtual Machines consume more overhead compared to containerization technology. Containers virtualize an app with the ability to create instances up and down under seconds.

Use cases of Containerization

  • CI/CD support

With containers, you can create a streamlined development process for building, testing, and deploying updates or new features frequently at ease. In addition, it reduces the repetition of running test cases and avoids the creation of continuous clustering of file transfer between different systems.

  • Compliment microservices

Simplify the development and delivery process when it comes to Microservice apps with containers as they isolate the workload environments. Decoupling an architecture with independent work environments can easily be set up.

  • Application refactoring

Containerization technology plays a massive role in helping development and operation teams leverage the lift-and-shift approaches during the migration of architectures or necessary app requirements.

Containerization Workflow Explained

Containers create images of codes written on one system and its respective settings, dependencies, libraries, etc. These images operate in the form of container engines that can run on any platform.

Containers focus on isolating the programmed software from different computing environments. This makes it possible to run a code consistently or uniformly across other platforms irrespective of its development differences in staging environment and development practices. The below image shows how containers exactly work.

Containerization

Conclusion

Virtual machines and containers are two basic tools that help you move your application to a cloud-based environment. Containerized environments are dynamic and can change much faster than environments in virtual machines, providing valuable agility. Containerization can empower DevOps teams by allowing them to focus on their most important goals. And then, microservices can use containerization to deliver smaller, single-function modules that work in tandem to create more scalable and agile applications. Considering all the above-mentioned benefits, it is a smart move to use Containerization technology.

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