For decades, application development was a complex process involving teams of developers writing, testing and modifying thousands of lines of code before putting the software into production. Times have changed, however. Instead of spending months building all-encompassing, monolithic applications, developers are now tasked with rapidly delivering lightweight apps that can function across a variety of operating environments. These requirements have accelerated the adoption of application containers.
Containerization is a virtualization technique in which developers package an app and all of its required runtime components in a small, portable bundle that can easily be moved among a variety of machines and systems without modifying any code. This “build once, use anywhere” model creates the application portability organizations need as they embrace multi-cloud and hybrid environments.
A variety of industry surveys suggest containerization is now a mainstream technology. Gartner analysts project that 90 percent of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production by 2026, up from 40 percent in 2021. Meanwhile, IDC predicts that 80 percent of workloads will run in containers by 2024.
Here are eight key benefits that are driving global adoption of containerization.
- Speed. Containerization accelerates app development by allowing developers to focus on specific areas of an app instead of the entire codebase. Once a container image has been created, it can be replicated and deployed in a matter of seconds. This makes it much faster to release new apps, new features or bug fixes. Additionally, many platforms have libraries of quick-start templates for building and deploying apps rapidly.
- Portability. Organizations today need applications that can function across a variety of operating environments. By packaging apps and all their dependencies, containerization ensures that apps perform consistently in any type of host environment.
- Scalability. Containers have a small footprint, making it possible to host several of them in a single server. Container orchestrators can automate scaling, activating or deactivating containers as needed to meet application loads.
- Resource conservation. Because containers include all the computing resources needed to make applications run, they don’t hog resources such as CPUs, storage and memory needed by the host server or other applications.
- Modular design. Updating or modifying traditional monolithic applications requires changes to the codebase, which can cause cascading changes throughout the software stack. Containerized apps are broken down into small, modular pieces, making them much easier to build, test, deploy, modify and redeploy without rewriting hundreds of lines of code.
- Independent operations. Containerized apps operate independently — if one fails the others are not impacted. Development teams can identify and correct any problems without causing downtime for any other containers.
- Security. The isolation of containerized applications prevents malicious code in one container from impacting other containers or the host system. Additionally, container-specific host operating systems have limited features, which reduces the attack surface.
- Simplified management. Container orchestration solutions such as Kubernetes automate many of the management tasks involved in running containerized workloads and services, including provisioning, deployment, replication, scaling and load balancing.
Containerization has enjoyed rapid acceptance because it simplifies the development and deployment of applications, and because it ensures consistent app performance across public cloud, private cloud or on-premises environments. Contact us to learn more about containers and the benefits they can bring to your organization.
October 17, 2022