The rising role of Containers in DevOps

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As the world keeps on speeding up, with faster business cycles and higher customer expectations, organizations need to innovate faster than ever. Thus, agility and digital transformation have never been more critical.

Developers are looking to solutions, such as Containers, that can help them transform into more discrete services, as well as new approaches to collaboration, such as DevOps, to give them the flexibility, efficiency, feedback loops, and speed needed for more agile workflows.

 

What is a container?

A container is a standard unit of software that packages up code and all its dependencies, so the application runs quickly and reliably from one computing environment to another. Hence, Containers allow developers to create an application on a laptop and deploy it on servers. That way, they are helping keep development agile and ensuring continuous delivery.

Despite some controversy about the efficiency of their use, containers are vital in DevOps processes as they speed up the deployment of applications. They also allow developers to focus on the application itself as they run the same way and their operations are handled by software. Containers are saving time and resources for IT teams.

Moreover, when using container technology, there are plenty of choices to go with such as Docker, Kubernetes, CoreOs, and Mesos, or even virtual machines.

 

What can Containers bring to DevOps?

Developers often found that containers provide them with a precise and controlled environment to build a continuous integration and continuous delivery pipelines. As Containers are immutable, the software that is tested and verified will be the same as the software that is deployed. There are discrepancies.

As we have mentioned previously, using containers withing the agile methodology of DevOps will speed up the deployment process and enable the quick launch of new features and apps. Hence, containerization becomes convenient for iterating quickly during development and scaling stateless services in production.

Furthermore, developers are able to run production code on their local machines as it lets them replicate a full development environment without having to deploy an application across the enterprise. There are also no more custom dependencies as the Docker container is already pre-configured.

Containers are more controllable if a company is using microservices rather than large applications.

 

The risks of using Containers

However, each business always needs to know whether or not to use containers for its DevOps projects. For instance, if the company is already using virtual machines, containers are not needed. Moreover, they sometimes can become a ‘black box’, making it difficult for developers to know what’s in them and what was running in the past.

There is also always a risk when running other people’s code. Indeed, it’s vital to know what’s inside the containers so as to know where lies the vulnerabilities.

In order to prevent attacks, container lifetimes need to be shortened and refreshed every once in a while, to keep them working well.

 

Conclusion

Containers allow developers to deploy their applications faster and keep development agile all the while ensuring continuous delivery. However, developers must also make sure that it’s possible to secure the containers adequately to have the best working environment ever.

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