What is a Container?

Containers are a solution to the problem of how to get software to run reliably when moved from one computing environment to another.

This could be from a developer's laptop to a test environment, from a staging environment into production and perhaps from a physical machine in a data center to a virtual machine in a private or public cloud.

Why Use Containers - The Issue

Problems arise when the supportiing software environment is not identical.

Example: You're going to test using Python 2.7, and then it's going to run on Python 3 in production and something weird will happen. Or you'll rely on the behavior of a certaing version of an SSL llibrary and another one will be installed.

The network topology might be different, or the security polices and storage might be different but the software has to run on it.

How Containers Solve Problems?

A container consists of an entire runtime environment: an application, plus all its dependencies, libraries and other binaries, and configuration files needed to run it, bundled into one package.

By containerizing the application platform and its dependecies, differeces in OS distributions and underlying infrastructure are abstracted away.

Benefits of Containers

Reduce complexity

through container abstraction

All dependencies

are preliminary satisfied

Interface is crucially simplified

Sandard way ™

to divide applications into distributed objects or containers

Breaking applications up this way

offers the ability to place them on different physical and virtual machines, in the cloud or not.

This flexibility offers more advantages

around workload management and provides the ability make fault-tolerant sustems.

Also, this the use of clustering, scheduling, and orchestration

technology, developers can ensure that applications that exist inside of containers can scale and are resilient.

These tools can manage groups of containers

using well-defined container management layer that provides these capabilities.

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18 June 2017