Speeding up software delivery with containers

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Speeding up software delivery with containers

June 20, 2019 - by Spruha Pandya

Containers have been the talk of the software development world for a few years now. At present, over 26% of environments currently use containerized applications and the number is expected to double by 2021. The key appealing factor that containers bring to the table is offering quality software delivery within a comparatively short time-span. Containers has played a major role in transforming the app delivery process.

How containers impact app delivery
  • Containers offer secure and reliable environments Containers isolate applications from each other within the operating system. Containers have isolated access to the relevant data or network. Multiple containers can run on the same server and leverage similar resources or be distributed across resources. This enables developers to work on separate segments of the application at once and deliver updates faster. Additionally, as every microservice has an isolated environment, any technical issues can be located and resolved without causing any downtime across the whole application.
  • Simplified system operations Placing an application within a container seals it along with its environment. Nobody can access nor change anything inside the container and thus, one does not need to write individual installation instructions for the varying system operators. There are no changes needed for running the application in a test or a production environment. There are no application specific differences. This way, the system operations are uniform and simple – thus, less time spent on delivery and maintenance.
  • Improvised DevOps processes DevOps is meant to ease friction points in the software delivery cycle and containers can add flexibility to the mix to make it all even simpler. As containers run independently and do not rely on the underlying host OS of the application, teams can use different frameworks or platforms. The choice of platform can depend completely on what the application needs or what the team is most comfortable using as containers can easily host any type of application irrespective of the choice of platform. When teams are working with the platform and processes that they are comfortable with, app delivery is effortless and faster.
  • Solid version control and reliable deployments Once the application is wrapped in containers, each deployment is identical – operating system, software packages, version and configuration – all are identical. One can also version sign every deployment, making it easy to differentiate between various versions of the app without having to maintain a configuration management database. No matter how often the deployment is done and by whomever it is done, reproducibility is 100%. Thus, environment-specific and version specific errors are no longer a concern.
  • Containers are disaster proof When an application is running on containers, container images form the basic building blocks of the entire application. All these container images are stored in a repository. So, in the event of any major disaster on the cloud, one can always pull the images from the repository and re-run the application anywhere one needs to. This way, containers offer a built-in disaster recovery function, which saves a lot of software recovery time in the face of a major failure.

Despite the container technology being only four years old, it is incredibly stable and reliable. Many enterprises have been able to scale and expand exponentially by shifting to containers. In short, containers simplify every aspect of software delivery and thus, enable enterprises deliver quality applications at a faster pace. The delays that legacy systems caused, have been eliminated completely by the container infrastructure.