Containers speed up app delivery: But are they enough?

Containers speed up app delivery: But are they enough?

We examine the reasons why companies transforming digitally should consider containers.

Digital transformation is all about using a set of enabling technologies that help you connect faster with customers. Continuous delivery is the need of the moment, particularly when organisations are trying to reach customers faster in a digitally driven environment and containerisation is a way that helps them unleash microservices faster. Companies today are able to get beyond legacy and move applications to digital environments by containerising apps.

Containerisation is about isolating an app from the environment it works in. It’s about executing tasks where the app is not dependent on the IT infrastructure it is surrounded by. Containers are expected to help organisations deploy software faster, better, and cheaper. They help them break down applications into smaller modules that use lesser code and run highly efficient microservices. On an average containers run on some 150-200 MB of code, making them agile, faster, and easier to deploy. Here are some reasons why companies transforming digitally should consider containers.

Ease of deployment and lower costs
They will help organisations deploy applications faster at costs that are a tenth of building applications the traditional way. Digital is about the speed at which you reach your customer. Containers help you achieve that,

Focus on DevOps, reduces time spent on manual IT chores
Containers can help organisations focus on DevOps while reducing the time and energies spent on manual testing, configuration and troubleshooting. It will help enterprises spend more time on delivering apps that meet their business goals.

Cloud compatibility
Most container engines run on the cloud today. That’s a massive advantage considering you don’t incur capital costs. There are container solutions that come with an open API and are cloud agnostic. You can run them across multiple public clouds or your own private cloud.

Containers are ubiquitous
You can pretty much run containers across operating systems, even though they are an invention of the open source movement. Today virtualized infrastructures too support containerisation.

However, containers also come with their own disadvantages. Bare metal performance is not guaranteed as containers come with their own overheads that could be related to network overlay and interfacing with other systems. There are also interoperability issues. While there are containers-as-a-service platforms available, they work only with Kubernetes orchestrator. Data storage is a serious issue with containers as data disappears whenever the container shuts down. Popular container engines are yet to address this issue adequately. The other problem is that not all applications run well on containers. Only those that are designed to perform as microservices work well on them. The biggest benefit of containerisation is that you can take the complexity out of application delivery by packaging it effectively. Containerisation may not always be the best choice for building applications. But in a digital environment, where delivering microservices is an essential part of catering to customer requirements, it’s an approach that delivers results. So knowing the limitations of containers and deploying them where required is a call that you need to make carefully.

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