Containers in Cloud Computing

Containers in Cloud Computing

In this article I am going to discuss, what are Containers in Cloud Computing and how are they different from virtual machines. Please read our previous article where we discussed Virtual Machines in detail.

What are the Containers in Cloud Computing?

We will discuss containers by comparing them with Virtual Machines.

A virtual machine virtualizes the server hardware resources (memory, disk space, processor, and other server hardware resources) whereas a container virtualizes the operating system, i.e. it’s an abstraction layer at the operating system level.

It is possible to run multiple containers on the same machine and will share the host operating system kernel. Unlike a Virtual Machine, a container does not require its own operating system. As it does not require its own OS, it straight away saves disk space, ram, and processor time. For better understanding please have a look at the following diagram.

What are the Containers in Cloud Computing?

The container packages the application code and its dependencies together. As you can see in the above image, if we have 3 applications to run on a single physical server, then we need to create 3 containers. Now, each application thinks, it is running on a dedicated Operating System with dedicated server hardware. But all the container applications are sharing the same host operating system and hardware.

Virtual Machines VS Containers:

In the case of Virtual Machines, the admin time is required in order to install security patches to keep up to date both the host operating system and the guest operating systems (Guest OS in all Virtual Machines). But in the case of Containers, the admin time is only required for the Host Operating System. It does not matter how many containers we have on the server, as the Container does not have its own Operating System.

From the cost standpoint, in the case of Virtual Machines, we must pay for the licenses of the host as well as for the guest operating systems, whereas in the case of containers, we only have to pay for the license of the host operating system.

A container is very small as compared to a Virtual Machine. Since a container does not have its own operating system to boot up, it can usually be brought online in very less time compared to booting up and entire Virtual Machine and its operating system.

In the next article, I am going to discuss the Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Computing. Here, in this I article, I try to explain Containers in Cloud Computing and I hope you enjoy this article.

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