In traditional software development, it is common to find pieces of code that, when started in a different computer environment than the original, show bugs and errors. To solve this error, programmers usually run such programs in so-called “containers”. These containers are usually located in the cloud.
How does a container work?
With containerization we perform a simple exercise. First we group an application and all its associated files, dependencies and libraries. In other words, everything needed to run efficiently and without errors in various computer environments.
That is the main point, that a program can be executed in different environments without bugs / problems.
Usually, containers are compared with virtual machines. Their relationship is clear: both run software in contained environments. That is, applications run in a container execution environment that, for practical purposes, would be like a host operating system.
Thus, the containers share a common operating system and each container executes isolated processes.
When software is executed in a container environment, it usually uses less memory and less space (vs. execution in virtual machines)
Docker and Kubernetes are the two most popular containerization ecosystems.
Advantages of containerization
Containerization is a major advance for software and microservice applications, allowing each container to function in isolation. As this happens, interrelations and interdependencies are avoided and possible points of failure are isolated.
In this way, each application communicates with the rest through an API.
This implies, on the other hand, greater efficiency when distributing the load.
Containerization and safety
Although there are many advantages to this technology, you have to be careful with its safety issues ,which are essentially two.
First, because all containerized applications share a single operating system, security threats involving the operating system itself can affect the entire system.
, Conventional security scanners in container environments are usually configured to protect operating systems, but not the containers themselves. Therefore, a second vulnerability could arise.
Currently, giants such as IBM and Google are betting heavily on containerization. They are its main supporters and, in fact, they themselves consider that this system allows developers to create and deploy applications much more efficiently and securely than the usual methods.
The only objection they currently have is its high cost. However, since this is an innovative technology, the forecast is that this cost will be reduced over time, and that in a few years it will become the norm for software developers.