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[Guide] Why Businesses Are Turning to Containers

The following is the first blog in a series about software containers and Kubernetes, and their importance in modern application delivery.

Organizations across industries are examining their business for opportunities to digitally transform. Traditional methods of software delivery characterized by waterfall planning, arduous infrastructure provisioning, and manual changes are no longer able to deliver the innovation required to remain relevant. Along with culture and process changes, modern application platforms are imperative to realizing the IT agility organizations need to keep pace with business demands.

Software containers and container management platforms, specifically Kubernetes, have quickly become an industry standard for strategic modern application delivery. With companies deploying a wide range of infrastructure across multiple clouds and operating environments, it is essential that applications remain portable and able to be run efficiently in multiple places. More and more companies are turning to containers to make this possible.

Before we go any further, let’s discuss what containers are and their evolution over time.

What are software containers?

Containers are isolated runtime environments on a system that share resources such as CPU, memory, network, and disk with other containers on the same system. The key technical difference between containers and virtual machines is that containers do not virtualize any hardware; they share a common OS on each host. This allows container instances on the same server to consume available system resources as needed and on-demand while active, compared to virtual machines, which require downtime for scaling memory or CPU.

Container evolution

Containers are evolving. Ten years ago, LXC first combined two primitive features of Linux, namespaces and control groups (cgroups), and built a foundation for isolated runtime environments on a single operating system (OS). The first release of Docker was in March 2013, based on LXC. Docker changed the game with its consumption model for containers: developers could easily build them with Dockerfiles, easily share them with registries, and easily run them with a few simple commands. After six years, the number of organizations exploring or using containers today is a testament to how powerful this technology is.

Windows support for software containers and Kubernetes is now available and evolving. The Open Container Initiative has led to standardized interfaces and runtime specifications for container images. Multiple image building tools and container runtimes are available. There is a global movement behind containers and over 70% of organizations are reportedly using them in production, based on the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s recent survey.

Containers have revolutionized how organizations deploy and manage applications. They inherently bring benefits such as speed, portability, and resource efficiency into the software delivery process. But leveraging containers and related technologies appropriately across an enterprise can be challenging and requires an overarching strategy backed by careful planning and experimentation.

The guide takes a deeper look at containers, including:

  • The business value of software containers
  • Container management platforms
  • Key considerations for leveraging software containers
  • Simple steps for getting started

Either click here or fill out the form below to learn more about containers and prepare your business to develop an effective container strategy.

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Joel Thimsen

Joel Thimsen is a Principal in Perficient's Healthcare and Life Sciences practice and serves as a retained Chief Architect for several key customers in the sector.

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