What is a Container and How Does It Containerize?
Containerization is a process used by software developers, technology companies, DevOps, and others to package lightweight software code and everything it needs to run to be used independently of various computing environments
. Think of your software application (code, libraries, files) as a sandwich and the container like your classic Ziploc bag. Even if you bring your Ziploc to a beach, a mall, a private data center, or a personal laptop, your “sandwich” will still be able to do its job.
Containers are beneficial in that they: allow for more efficient applications as you singularly utilize the resources containerized; can virtually be used anywhere due to their autonomous nature, and allow for more streamlined development
as developers do not have to worry about the chosen environment clashing with the application’s software.
If you have ever heard of VMs (Virtual Machines)
, containers are very similar in that they package software to be used in varying environments, but containers are the lighter, faster, more portable, younger sister.
Containers are also often used to contain microservices
, which are core functions any app or software may complete. Want a cat photo on your timeline from a database of personalized entertainment? Microservice. Add Christmas gifts to your basket on December 23? Microservice. This allows apps to be broken up into their individual functions, so if something goes wrong or is needed to be fixed, the issue can be localized to that single function instead of the whole app. Containerizing microservices allows for them to be easily transferable and scalable.
Their Role in Cloud Native Application
You’ve heard of the omnipotent ‘cloud’ before, but what is it really? Besides storing all of our data and knowing everything about our virtual lives, cloud computing
is a hub of internet resources such as databases, networking, servers, intelligence, and more. Native apps are just programs designed for a specific platform, and in our case, cloud native applications
are just programs for cloud computing.
Now, to really bring everything together, developers have made something called container-based cloud native application. It seems complicated, but it is like a Russian doll of technology terms you now know. Recall containers contain microservices which break down applications into their individual services that are packaged so they do not interfere with each other or the environment they are in, which are then contained and used in cloud native applications. Cloud native application is predicted to be the future of software development and in combining software like microservices, the cloud, and containers, we are already seeing it in our current day-to-day technology.
Check out our WITI WIND - Containers / Open-Source / Cloud Development forum
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