Containers

At one point, monolithic apps seemed like works of art, composed of so much code. These days, however, relying on monolithic architectures is going to give your customers a laggy experience that will be difficult to update and improve. That’s because modern microservices-based infrastructure offers clear advantages over the legacy monolithic stacks of old.

One easy and efficient way to leverage microservices is to deploy containers. Keep reading for seven reasons to migrate to container-based infrastructure.

  1. Containers save time

Container images are designed to quickly spin up and run processes as fast as possible. Rapid deployment can be imperative for companies that make apps for IoT or offer cloud services. For many of these companies, each second matters to stay above the competition. According to Datadog, containers have an average lifespan of 2.5 days in comparison to VMs, which have an average lifespan of around 15 days.

One reason for this difference could be that the capabilities of containers allow them to be used for more dynamic workloads than VMs are capable of supporting. Containerizing your apps therefore lets you deploy quickly, as well as update or fix apps when they break. This allows for a faster development cycle as well as a smoother user experience.

2. Containers are portable

Consistency is key to deploying an app. In the past and with older infrastructures, compatibility issues were common. With container isolation, however, you can give dependency issues the boot. A Docker container can run on any type of host as long as it supports Docker. The underlying operating system and hardware do not matter. That gives you more portability than ever.

3. Containers are secure

Although containers initially suffered from hiccups regarding security in comparison to alternatives like the older VMs, container technologies have caught up quickly. Isolation is in itself a secure aspect of containers, ensuring that a compromised container will not affect other containers easily. Patching security exploits is a lot easier in containers as they pack different parts of an application and can be updated individually. Plus, specific improvements in Docker include features like namespaces (which let the Docker daemon have root permissions without the individual containers needing to have root privileges as well). Containers are now more than secure enough for the enterprise.

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4. Containers are already popular in the enterprise

Just because a lot of people use something doesn’t mean that they are right—but that’s not the case with containers. Many big-name companies, such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google have rushed to provide native Docker integration to their cloud platforms. This has given enterprises the confidence to adopt it as well. Due to the rise of container usage, a lot of well developed tools like Kubernetes have popped up in recent years, making the job of developers and operations teams a lot easier.

5. Containers are essential for DevOps

Docker brings speed and portability to your development pipeline, which facilitates DevOps adoption. Traditionally, developers tend to be keen to push out new features and updates, whereas operations teams prioritise stability.

Containers keep both groups happy. Developing apps with the help of containers means having a stable environment where apps can run well on any system without hiccups. Developers can deploy updates quickly and easily to container images. Operations teams do not have to stress out about whether or not their apps are reliable when they’re deployed and scaled. This takes a large burden off their shoulders and allows them to focus on more important issues. In whole, it decreases the tension between the Development and Operations teams and helps build an atmosphere of collaboration instead of friction and blame-shifting. More problems get solved and more work gets done.

6. Containers enable other microservice-based efficiencies

Steering away from aging monolithic architecture can bring very obvious improvements to your infrastructure. Containers can be used to package individual services that make up your app, which communicate with each other through an API, and deploy them. This brings agility and resilience, even if you have to support a complex device matrix. With the combination of quick deployment and smaller overhead, individual services can be updated and deployed without disrupting the whole app or website. If an update or feature fails, then an older and more stable release could be exchanged in place of the container housing the newer build. This allows for continuous delivery where you can have teams focusing on a certain feature of the app and its entire development cycle.

7. Containers increase efficiency and production

Combining the previously mentioned points, we see that containers offer increased efficiency across the development pipeline. One big positive result of this is the increase in risk taking. Once development and operations teams get used to the advantages of containers, they’re more open to taking risks as they sense a safety net for failure. Performance increases, app development advances, and more things get done at a rate that was not possible with older architectures.

Conclusion

If you haven’t begun planning your move to containerized infrastructure yet, it’s time to prepare. Containers have proven their value and are here to stay. They’re a key building block of next-generation infrastructure.

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  • Benjamin Wootton

    Co-Founder and CTO

    Benjamin Wootton is the Co-Founder and CTO of Contino. He has worked with tens of enterprise organisations on DevOps transformation and is a hands-on DevOps engineer with expertise in cloud and containers.

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