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Containers: A New Evolution in Data Center Technology

Containers: A New Evolution in Data Center Technology
May 16, 2018

In today’s scenario container technology has become one of the key trends. Even though this technology has gained momentum only in the last few years, it is one of the oldest existing concepts; it emerged in 1979 as Unix V7. It came at a time when the chroot system call was introduced and changed the root directory of a process and its children to a new location in the file system. This technology advancement was the beginning of isolation and segregation of file access for each process. That’s where the container evolution journey began. Today, container adoption is growing rapidly, and enterprises of all sizes are increasingly looking to invest in this technology.

Barriers to Container Technology

As the container adoption rate has sparkled over the years, there are barriers including ‘lack of maturity’, ‘lack of management and deployment tools’, ‘lack of knowledge on how to scale containers’ and many concerns like ‘security vulnerability’, ‘multi-cloud or cross datacenter support’ to name a few.

The good news is that the container adoption is maturing by the day. There has been a constant improvement in the tools and third-party APIs. For instance, security has been introduced into the DevOps process, named as DevSecOps, where container images need to be scanned and built before they reach production cycle.

Enterprises can reduce and address security-related threats, ensuring their container images are secured without disrupting innovation cycles. Containers are smaller than full virtual machines, which contain operating systems and are, therefore, usually three to five times larger. Container technology has much to offer in terms of ‘simplicity for developers’, ‘higher server efficiency’ and ‘scalability for technology managers.’

In addition, containers provide better control on resource allocation and utilization, consistent configuration from Dev-to-Test to QA-Prod and portability across environment. Container technology encapsulates only minimal resources that an application requires to run and function as intended, empowering you to consistently run software when relocated from one computing environment to another—public, private, or hybrid cloud. It serves as an alternative for deploying and running distributed applications without launching an entire VM for all application dependencies (e.g., libraries, utilities, and configuration files).

Container technology has much to offer in terms of ‘simplicity for developers’, ‘higher server efficiency’ and ‘scalability for technology managers.’

Container Technology Market

The market for container technology is booming with players ranging from the providers of niche to a plethora of services. The market itself is analyzed based on four segments, namely, application, deployment, verticals, and regions. Geographically, America is all set to be the leading region for CaaS (Container as a Service) market growth followed by Europe in the race for this container technology adoption. Asia-Pacific and MEA remain the emerging regions. As Container as a Service gains momentum in the adoption and transformation journey in the IT world, its maturity would not only depend on streamlining the technology in terms of application and infrastructure landscape, but also how effectively it will address the people and process aspects of an organization.

This is similar to the ’90s virtualization waves when transformation was threefold in data centers. HCL’s ContainerizIT offering provides this triangulated framework in an easy-to-consume service approach that can help enterprises quickly realize significant value, transforming both their application infrastructure, and bring rapid business agility. Container technology is the fastest growing cloud enabling technology, emerging ‘as a service’ which organizations can deploy on their own without building, testing, and configuring the entire stack.

As the adoption of containers is on the fast track, the future of container will be quite advanced. Container technology will have a profound impact on the future of IT infrastructure. We have seen the big shift in the way application is being designed today as compared to the last one decade. Earlier, the applications were monolithic and all the functions were tightly integrated into one application.

Nowadays, applications are being developed with new features and functionalities which are built from loosely coupled components instead of tightly coupled components. This shift of application designing and architecture translates into continuous delivery, integration, microservices, and the use of containers. The new fashion of designing applications will enhance the enterprise software development, go-to market approach, and will also formulate the path of cloud native adoption strategy.

In all, the significance of container will grow in the future as the end-user expectations from technology will be addressed with the help of constant development of the application ecosystem. And to cater this, container is going to be the de facto technology for the enterprise world.