Digital Communication


Digital Communication

Cloud containers: everything you need to know about virtual software units


Cloud containers make it possible to virtualize operating systems with all their dependencies. They therefore operate completely autonomously from other applications. Their flexibility and their design focused on saving resources mean that they are being studied by many companies.

What is a Cloud Container?

For many businesses, the role played by Cloud computing is becoming more important every day. The benefits of working in the Cloud are as diverse as they are varied and range from significant savings to a better choice of software, storage solutions or servers, including improved flexibility.

In addition to traditional Cloud solutions, a growing number of large companies such as Google or Microsoft are opting for Cloud containers. It appears that these companies each use several billion every week ; if this number is titanic, it can be explained by the numerous advantages offered by this technique. But before going into details, let’s start by precisely defining Cloud containers.

Cloud containers consist of abstract, self-contained software units used to virtualize an operating system. The entire infrastructure (which includes, among other things, a processor, RAM, file storage, libraries and all network connections) can be used independently. The Cloud container operates completely independently and completely separate from other applications or containers. However, access to the host system kernel must be guaranteed.

The different cloud containers save a lot of resources, but it is also possible to adapt them according to your specific workload, without having to modify the entire system. It is very simple to migrate applications from a Cloud container to other environments, just like a real physical container that can go from boat to boat.

How does a Cloud container work?

To a large extent, cloud containers work like regular containers that have been used for software development for years. Each Cloud container virtualize an infrastructure based on the operating system used for the installation. The Cloud container has its own virtual system, but also recreates all the dependencies, configuration and different libraries. Together, these elements form a container image that can be run by the container engine. It can thus be easily migrated to another environment. Each Cloud container is completely independent from the rest of the applications.

It is therefore possible to host several Cloud containers in the Cloud, these only sharing a single operating core. Thus, the different files remain particularly light. The host also ensures that a single cloud container’s access to the system’s physical resources is limited. Thus, this single cloud container cannot exploit all of the available power.

In the event of a failure, only the Cloud container in question is affected; the applications surrounding it, as well as the host system, are not affected by glitches or other voluntary modifications. At the time of migration, all dependencies are also transferred; it is therefore not necessary to repeat the configuration.

What is a Cloud container used for?

In general, there are many possibilities when it comes to using cloud containers. Their design and features make them ideal for many workloads. Below are some of the most common use cases:

  • Cloud-native applications : Cloud native applications are based on Cloud containers, because they consume few resources. It is therefore possible to host a large number of Cloud containers within the same virtual machine, and to place them as close as possible to the operating system.
  • Hybrid Cloud and Multi-Cloud : In a hybrid cloud, cloud containers are used for running workloads in different environments. It is possible to easily move from one Cloud to another, the Cloud container already containing all the necessary elements. At the same time, this working method offers administrators a better overview of all provisioning locations. The same way of working can be applied as part of a multi-Cloud approach.
  • Machine learning : Since it is possible to run individual algorithms in different containers without any form of mutual influence, this technique creates a perfect environment for the most effective machine learning.
  • Microservices : microservices correspond to small functionalities within a larger application. In addition to being fast, their execution must use as few resources as possible. Their provision via a Cloud container makes it possible to meet these requirements precisely, it being of a particularly lightweight design.
  • Migration : As we’ve already explained, Cloud Containers are perfect for migration because all dependencies and configuration are already included, without any connection to other applications. So, if you need to move an application, a Cloud container can help you complete this task.
  • Modernization : As Cloud Containers are growing in importance and are already used by many businesses, it may also be a good idea to implement them if you want to modernize your own system and workflow.
  • Batch processing : Cloud containers can also play a vital role in the field of process automation. They are perfect for batch processing requiring no human intervention, as there is no need to re-define their dependencies and environment.

What are the advantages of Cloud containers?

For many businesses, cloud containers bring many benefits, which is why they are often worth investigating. Below you will find the main arguments that work in their favor:

  • Flexibility : In addition to being efficient, Cloud containers are also a very flexible solution. You can isolate container images from other applications, then configure them individually and use them. Their migration is also simple, allowing you to work in different environments.
  • Cost reduction : costs should also be taken into account. Cloud containers are also very interesting in this regard. Indeed, you can control your expenses while implementing many containers in parallel with each other.
  • Space required : Cloud containers are known for not being bulky. Virtualization of the processor, storage solutions and connections allows these containers to occupy only limited space in the Cloud. Likewise, they require very little system resources.
  • Scalability : a Cloud container can expand to support the increase in workload. Users can therefore work freely, and applications have access to all the resources they need. This approach can also be reversed: if your needs decrease, then no unnecessary resources are used.
  • Insulation : It is positive to isolate the different Cloud containers, because problems or failures that can affect one container cannot negatively impact the others. It is therefore possible to test applications securely and quickly identify any bugs.
  • Security : In general, Cloud containers are an extremely secure solution, not only thanks to the isolation phenomenon, but also due to the possibility of defining security permissions for each of the containers. To use Cloud containers securely, however, they must be managed conscientiously.
  • Ease of use for developers : Cloud containers are the best solution for developers. It is indeed appropriate to carry out development and production within the same environment. Additionally, easy migration allows applications to be tested on different systems and then optimized accordingly.

What software is recommended for Cloud containers?

Many providers offer the container as a service (CaaS) solution. Depending on their use, these may be more or less suitable. However, one solution works in the vast majority of environments: Docker open source container platform. Docker containers are created virtually, and their image contains all dependencies and configurations. Do you also want to use these Cloud containers? Consult our digital guide, and more particularly our complete Docker tutorial which will support you in the first stages of your work.

Are you looking for a Cloud server perfectly suited to your needs? With Docker hosting offered by IONOS, benefit from an optimal platform for creating and running your applications in containers, all at an attractive price. Don’t wait any longer to seek advice from our specialists!

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