In computing, container technology is a useful method for separating applications using a fully functional virtual computer. As you are going to see, this technology is an adaptation of virtual machines and provides several advantages. Read on to find out more about the technology, versions, and benefits.
What Is Container Technology?
Put simply, a container is a fully functional virtual computer that runs inside another host computer. Each container is isolated from other containers and the host, allowing a level of independent operation. Containers have file systems.
A container is an operating system or operating system-level virtualization. The kernel allows multiple isolated user-space instances or virtual computers to exist simultaneously.
When you are running an application in a container, the application and its dependencies can operate without being affected by other applications and processes from the host computer system.
What Is the Difference Between Kubernetes and Docker Containers?
There are various types of container systems, with Docker, Containerd, and rkt (pronounced as rocket) being the most common.
Docker is a standalone software that works on any computer allowing it to run containerized applications. Once you have installed the software, you can run, create, and manage containers on a single operating system (OS).
Kubernetes allows you to do much more with a container system like Docker. If you have Docker installed on different operating systems, each of these is known as a node or Docker host. These might be serving as virtual machines or as bare-metal servers.
You might want to leverage Kubernetes to improve the functionalities of your Docker container system. With Kubernetes, you can automate the use of containers, the connection to the network, security, balancing the load on the system, and scaling across all your Docker nodes.
Using a single command line or dashboard, you can gain more control of the different containers in your Kubernetes cluster.
Containers Versus Virtual Machines
Before containers became very popular, we had virtual machines. Although there are many similarities, some key differences make container technology a better choice.
When you combine a single physical server with virtualization technology, you get a virtual machine. This virtual machine contains the application you wanted to run as well as the whole OS. Because one physical server could run several operating systems simultaneously, this led to high overheads and a limit on how many virtual machines you could have.
Containers solve this challenge because the server only runs one OS and is then shared by multiple containers.
Benefits of Containers
By now, you might already appreciate the many benefits of running some of your applications using container technology.
A container system, such as Kubernetes and Docker, allows you to run applications on an OS that is isolated from everything else, bringing useful independence.
It is as if you are creating an illusion for your application that it is getting its own OS instance, while there may actually be other containers running on the same OS.
The key benefits of containers are:
- Easy to scale
- Low overheads and use of resources
- Very portable
- Fast deployment
- Improved security
- Enhanced business continuity
Container technology allows you to run applications independent of other processes and applications running on the same OS, bringing multiple business benefits.