Computers & Technology

Should You Opt for Containerization Instead of Virtual Machines?

There are many so-called pundits who believe that virtual machines are really out of date. They are mistaken, although they may have a point — with the growing popularity of containers and with plenty of tech companies investing in this technology, virtual machines seem to have already gone past their heyday.

The good thing about containerization is that it renders the need for VM unnecessary in the deployment and running of distributed applications. This means you need not launch a whole VM for every application you would use; you simply must make use of isolated systems which are aptly termed containers. These containers run via a single controlling host and doesn’t need to access multiple kernels. Since containers usually share the same operating system kernel as the host computer, it does not require a separate OS to deploy and run applications. On the other hand, the host OS generally limits the access of containers to the physical resources of the host computers. This means that containers do not take up and use much of the physical resources of the host.

At the onset of the introduction of containers, there were problems concomitant with their incorporation into the host system; however, Docker was able to develop a way to make containers more portable. This remarkable improvement allows easy portability of containers from one system to another system that shares the same operating system type without the need for any code changes. The need for docker training is therefore essential to maximize the use of containers.

VMs, as mentioned earlier, take up much space because they are dependent on the guest operating system to operate. On the other hand, containers do not consume much space considering that every container needs only to share with the operating system of the host.

Potential Disadvantage of Containerization

Containers allow a company to pack more applications onto a physical server. Hence, it is obvious that, in this regard, the technologies behind containers far outdo that of the VM. Containers basically only require what an operating system can offer, and these requirements include libraries, supporting programs, and system resources. Pragmatically, this means that you can leverage your system via the deployment of containers, allowing you to install more applications to a single server as compared to the use of VM. It is surely a win/win situation if you use containers, for you can now create consistent portable operations. Moreover, it provides an environment for further development, testing, and additional deployment. With all these concomitant advantages, it is not superfluous to say that containers are better than VMs and that its growing popularity may spell the doom for VM.

There are problems, however, concomitant with the deployment of containers, and without these problems, the use of containers would be very much advantageous. There is a security issue with the use of containers, for example, due to its lack of isolation from the operating system of the host. This lack of isolation may compromise the OS, but this can be remedied. One such remedy is the creation of containers in an OS that runs on a VM. This makes sure that any security breach would only happen at the OS level of the VM without doing damage to the physical host’s OS. Lastly, with the continuous enhancement of containers, true independence between infrastructures and applications can be ultimately achieved.