What is containerization?

Containerization is a software deployment option that involves packaging up software code and its dependencies so it is easier to deploy across computing environments. A container is basically an Operating System (OS)-level virtualization method for deploying and running applications without launching an entire VM (virtual machine) for each application.

Containers share resources of their host OS with other containers, and provide greater portability when compared to a VM, which uses isolated resources and requires a full OS to operate. Only application code and its dependencies are packed into a container and can run anywhere. Because they are small in size, you can run a lot of containers onto a single computing instance. This also reduces server and licensing costs.

The benefits of containers include faster deployment, less overhead, easier migration, greater scalability, and more fault tolerance. These characteristics are what made cloud-native applications possible. Containers also enable development of microservices - small, fine-grained services that are connected together to create larger applications. Microservices are developed, deployed and scaled independently and hence containers are a best fit to run microservices. If you need to update your microservice, you can simply create a new container to replace your old one. This allows for faster and error-free software development.

With containers, you get to enjoy the flexibility to move between cloud environments and greater scalability - without rewriting your applications and with little configuration changes.

Containerization diagram