Cloud containers are best defined as a technology that better optimizes resources consumed by an application. This then becomes a smarter way to run a single application by not eating into the memory, disk space, and processing power – thus maintaining a proper balance in the allocation of resources. Cloud containers are a popular talking point in the IT sector right now as major companies such as Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are increasing their usage.
Containers are easy to deploy, streamlined, and provide a secure method when implementing certain infrastructure requirements. It’s also more efficient than hardware virtualization, as it provides the necessary computing resources as if it’s the only one running in the Operating System.
How is a Cloud Container Different?
Cloud containers differ from virtual machines due to their minimalist nature and user-friendly mode of deployment. You don’t need to install an entire OS to the container and neither do they need a host server’s virtual copy of the hardware to perform. Containers operate with the bare minimum amount of resources, which means you can deploy containers on a server 2 to 3 times as much in comparison to virtual machines.
Speaking of user-friendly deployment, cloud containers are also highly portable and can be deployed to multiple servers at an extremely quick pace. You can implement a container in two ways: either by downloading a pre-made image, or creating the image yourself. From the perspective of software, the fast deployment aspect of containers helps in testing, development, integration, and other functions without needing the usual configuration.
Cloud Container Security Elements
One of the very first concerns when containers came into the forefront was how to keep them secure. Until recently, containers had to be run with user privileges on the underlying OS, which would allow the user to obtain root or administrator access on the underlying OS if key portions of the container were somehow compromised. But, some providers now support containers to be run by specific users through a feature known as ‘user namespaces.’
Are Cloud Containers the Future?
It’s safe to say that a whole lot of organizations will benefit if they introduce cloud containers into their existing infrastructure. This technology has everything – portability, low-cost, user-friendly deployment, and no doubt serves as an excellent alternative to virtual machines.
But, it’s important to remember that full-blown virtual machines also have their merits and would probably remain side-by-side along with cloud containers to complement each other.