What is container?

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What is container?

In this article we will introduced you with the containers in software and see how it helps in easy deployment of application on different os without any application dependency issues.

In this article we will introduced you with the containers in software and see how it helps in easy deployment of application on different os without any application dependency issues.

Beginning with Docker: What is container?

Containers are the tools to help developers develop and deploy a software moving it from its intended operating system environment. By using container a developer can run a software in different environments instead of experiencing the constraints of running it on one single OS platform.

The software project can be run in different OS and device environments ranging from different physical computer machines, data Center platforms to virtual machines on a public or private cloud. This flexibility and freedom of running a software across platforms is the core value proposition of Containers.

How can containers help in software development?

Container basically comes equipped as a fully-bodied runtime environment consisting of the software application along with its dependencies, required libraries, binaries, and different configuration files for the project. By putting everything into the container, the corresponding infrastructure and their differences across multiple operating systems can easily be abstracted. This abstraction helps the software project to do away with the dependencies on a single OS platform.

Key differences between containers and virtualization

Though containers in a way makes way for OS level virtualisation, there are significant differences between containers and virtualisation. Virtualisation is mainly carried out by virtual machines that are basically packages comprising an operating system and a software application. A physical server controls the virtual machine just like a web app. Different operating systems can be made available through the virtual machines.

In complete contrast, the container and its server runs only a single operating system. Every container for the sake of deployment can also share the operating system kernel with other containers. This helps containers getting the same output with less resources. 

Other benefits of containers

Apart from keeping the app project low-key and low-footprint by maintaining lower volume of resources, containers offer several key benefits to the app projects. A virtual machine running several operating systems can be quite heavy in resources and in terms of size, it can consume multiple gigabytes of memory. Containers in comparison are far lightweight and low-footprint tools that can serve the same purpose by sharing the same operating system kernel across platforms. This low-footprint and lightweight approach of containers help hosting multiple containers with a single server.

Virtual machines because of their larger size can also take longer to boot an operating system and run the hosted apps. In contrast, apps in containers can be started instantly and can be removed in the same speed to create space. Containers in the context of the software projects also ensure optimum modularity. Containers allow splitting an app project into several components and modules like database, frontend, etc. This helps in easier management of the project as each separate part involves relatively simpler tasks. This also allows easy ways to bring changes in the project as simple changes can be done with different modules instead of rebuilding the entire software app.

Containers can be summed up as the advanced approach to software development and deployment that make virtual machines look really obsolete.

Docker Tutorials and helpful articles

Check following tutorial and articles:

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