What is a Container?
A standardised unit of software
Package Software into Standardised Units for Development, Shipment and Deployment
A container is a standard unit of software that packages up code and all its dependencies so the application runs quickly and reliably from one computing environment to another. A Docker container image is a lightweight, standalone, executable package of software that includes everything needed to run an application: code, runtime, system tools, system libraries and settings.
Container images become containers at runtime and in the case of Docker containers – images become containers when they run on Docker Engine. Available for both Linux and Windows-based applications, containerised software will always run the same, regardless of the infrastructure. Containers isolate software from its environment and ensure that it works uniformly despite differences for instance between development and staging.
Docker containers that run on Docker Engine:
- Standard: Docker created the industry standard for containers, so they could be portable anywhere
- Lightweight: Containers share the machine’s OS system kernel and therefore do not require an OS per application, driving higher server efficiencies and reducing server and licensing costs
- Secure: Applications are safer in containers and Docker provides the strongest default isolation capabilities in the industry
Comparing Containers and Virtual Machines
Containers and virtual machines have similar resource isolation and allocation benefits, but function differently because containers virtualize the operating system instead of hardware. Containers are more portable and efficient.
Containers are an abstraction at the app layer that packages code and dependencies together. Multiple containers can run on the same machine and share the OS kernel with other containers, each running as isolated processes in user space. Containers take up less space than VMs (container images are typically tens of MBs in size), can handle more applications and require fewer VMs and Operating systems.
Virtual machines (VMs) are an abstraction of physical hardware turning one server into many servers. The hypervisor allows multiple VMs to run on a single machine. Each VM includes a full copy of an operating system, the application, necessary binaries and libraries – taking up tens of GBs. VMs can also be slow to boot.
We can help you plan and deploy Docker Containers
Concerned about supporting your Docker Container environment once deployed?
We have partners who provide packaged Docker support services too, just contact us for more information
For more information on how our Semantic Technology Consultants can help your business on it’s Digital Transformation Journey, using Docker, Kubernetes, or any other Technology advice, contact us today
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