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