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What are Containers?

Containers are lightweight executable units of software in which application code is packaged with its own runtime environment, along with libraries and dependencies needed to run.

Containers are designed for maximum portability. They can be run anywhere, whether it be desktop, classic IT infrastructure or the cloud.

Unlike a virtual machine, containers do not need to include a guest operating system in every instance. Instead, they simply leverage the features and resources of the host operating system.

Containers at a glance

What are the advantages of containerisation?
  • Lightweight – no need for a full OS instance per application.
  • Portable and platform independent – build software and dependencies once. Run anywhere.
  • Supports modern development and architecture – suitable for DevOps, serverless and microservices development patterns.
  • Improved utilisation – granular deployment and scalability resulting in an efficient and cost-effective architecture.
How do containers relate to other cloud-native solutions?

Containers are becoming increasingly prominent in cloud environments. The key use-cases where containers are relevant are:

  • Microservices – small and lightweight containers make containers a perfect match for microservice architectures, which have loosely coupled and independently deployable smaller services.
  • DevOps – common foundation for teams that embrace DevOps to build, deploy and run software.
  • Hybrid-cloud, multi-cloud – consistently run containers anywhere, across a mix of hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud scenarios in public cloud or private data centres.
How does containerisation compare to traditional practices?

Compared with traditional virtual machines (VMs), containers virtualise the operating system, so each individual container contains only the application, libraries and dependencies. The absence of the guest OS is what makes containers lightweight, fast and portable.

Expert advice on cloud-native solutions in your Enterprise

Get the latest on containerisation. Our experts can advise on the different use-cases, how they work, and the benefits.

Take the next step

Certified cloud consultants and development specialists can extend your teams to plan, design, deploy and manage outcome-driven containerisation solutions.

Our professionals can help your organisation maximise your cloud-native approach and set up programmes for long-term success.

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