Containerization refers to the process of creating packages
that consist of software codes and dependencies such as frameworks, libraries, and
configuration files required for any application to run on any environment.
What are Containers?
Containers can be thought of as a transferable component that
has all the basic requirements fulfilled to support the execution of software in any
environment (Operating system, system configuration, and so on). Every environment has a
varied set of requirements for security, browser compatibility, RAM, storage, and
others, which might not support every application to comply with the specific system
Benefits of Containerization
Containers eliminate the boundaries that may prohibit the
seamless functioning of applications on different platforms. Therefore, here, we have
listed some advantages of containerization that mitigate risks and offer an edge over
DevOps friendly: In an agile environment, containers are a
relief, as they are
system independent and thus help the developers and other stakeholders to update and
upgrade features as per requirements. The team can thus worry less about the
infrastructural dependencies and focus more on continuous integration and
- Ease of deployment:Container states can easily be stored in an
image that is
standalone, transferrable, and lightweight and consists of every component required
run any application, be it code, runtime, libraries, and so on. This feature makes
easy for deployment in dynamic environments as the images can be stored and
from remote locations or repositories.
- Cross-platform compatibility:Containers are platform-independent
and so does their
compatibility with any cloud platform.
- Scalability:The containers are flexible enough to be scaled as
given requirement. That is, irrespective of the volume of content to be run on a
platform, the container’s lightweight feature allows you to perform operations
- Better utilization of resources:Containers are a convenient way
to utilize resources and
require minimum CPU and memory use
- OS independent:As the definition says, containers are independent
environment, and thus the package can be run within the limits of a given
- Reduced Cost:Infrastructure maintenance costs are eliminated as
platform supports the execution of multiple containers, at a given point in
Challenges with Containerization
Despite the range of benefits containers offer, certain
limitations are often prevalent within DevOps teams. Following are few known
- MisconfigurationsBeing a relatively new technology, the skills
expertise required for the installation and configuration of containers are
comparatively very restricted. Such instances could lead to security threats such as
malware attacks if default service ports are left ‘public’. Therefore,
knowledge of security policies and firewalls would be a step closer to the
such vulnerabilities. Basic authentication mechanisms will also ensure putting up a
barrier for unauthorized access attempts.
- Shared infrastructure A shared infrastructure saves the efforts
utilization of hardware resources, but it could also be prone to attacks. Such an
could be a ‘side-channel attack’ based on information on the system
- Choice of an appropriate containerIt becomes imperative to gather
the right information on how
to choose a container tool, which will suit the needs of the organization. The idea
to implement new technologies within the given boundaries to extract the maximum
Popular Containerization tools
Some of the very frequently used tools for containerization
are listed as follows:
- Jenkins - it is a
web-enabled tool that helps in continuous integration, deployment, and testing
of applications, and can further be integrated with build tools such as Ant or
- Vagrant - DevOps team can create
easy workflows with this tool and focus on automation without worrying much about
development environments. The tool facilitates the creation of lightweight and
portable development environments.
- PagerDuty - the tool offers a
feature for incident management and provides real-time alerts, which helps in easier
and earlier detection and resolution of incidents.
- Prometheus - the tool is an
open-source service monitoring and time-series database, which helps DevOps teams to
keep a track of metrics. Prometheus is quite popular among organizations using
- Docker - Dockers are much more
efficient and easily portable, runs as an isolated process on a host operating
system. With Docker containers, the developers are the owners of a container and
what is within, that is, the frameworks, dependencies, and so on. It shares the
kernel with other containers and has benefits like VM’s.
- GitHub - An open-source system with
version control, GitHub is a web-based hosted service for GitHub repositories. It is
quite ideal for open-source projects as it is supported by very strong
- Ansible Towers - it offers
role-based access control, secured storage for SSH credentials, and so on. A
web-based console, with REST API, facilitates operating the tool seamlessly across
the organization and teams. With multi-playbook workflows, teams can easily model
- Kubernetes - An open-source
system, which has the facility to group containers into logical units. Facilitates
easier management of workloads to ensure the user’s target objective is
achieved. It thus helps DevOps teams to continuously manage, deploy, and scale
How Containerization benefits DevOps?
Organizations in an agile environment are gradually adopting
containerization as it offers great ease with which they can work together on multiple
operating systems and finish goals faster, as there are no dependencies involved.
Containerization does help in eliminating a lot of barriers, and the very dynamicity of
containers enables build, test, and deployment activities without much complexity. The
concept of containerization can thus be thought of as a bridge between infrastructure
and the operating system.
The concept of containerization is about encapsulating an
application with the required set of components so that it can be run on any platform.
The DevOps team can thus work on continuous integration and deployment as the
containerized solutions offer reliability, portability, and high-quality in a cloud
environment. With containerization in place, organizations can consistently keep up with
the agile nature of business and deliver high-quality and efficient results.