Containers: The Emperor’s New Clothes

We in IT love our buzzwords and the next best new thing. But am I really the only person who cannot see the point of containers? I mean, those of us who were working in IT during the early noughties at the birth of virtualization in the enterprise will well remember containers—sorry, Solaris Zones—from Sun Microsystems. We should also remember that the questions they were supposed to answer were better answered by the then-newfangled technology called “virtualization” from a little-known upstart company called “VMware.”

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2 thoughts on “Containers: The Emperor’s New Clothes”

  1. No one can argue that virtualization hasn’t been a great technology. It has empowered IT and it is the foundation of building today’s cloud offerings. The problem that containers like Docker address is portability. Virtual machines, even from the VMware, simply cannot be moved around as easily as a container. I cannot take my virtual web application and drop it on Amazon, and then move it to Digital Ocean or Azure.

    Another benefit to containers is that they are even more resource efficient than virtual machines. Not every application needs its own host, if its processes can be fenced off. Depending on the operating system, I’m saving between 5-12GB of storage, as well as at least 500MB of RAM, per instance. Scale that up to fifty or one hundred nodes, and there’s a lot of saving to be had.

    Of course, containers can’t be used for everything. They have their limitations. Virtualization will always have its place.

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