Cloud Computing: The Future is Containers

Contributed by Larry Gene Hastings Jr.

Cloud computing is a growing trend seen today in outsourcing computing needs. Through cloud computing, the costs associated with maintaining a plethora of physical hardware systems is being mitigated because companies are now using systems that are actually located remotely. Cloud providers must be able to provide these resources in the most optimal manner, both for the benefit of their customers and for the benefit of streamlining operations. Imagine a data center, which is a site full of servers. Now, imagine a company like Amazon or Microsoft that provides cloud resources to companies around the world. What is the best possible way for a company in Arizona, a company in New York, and a company in Mexico City to be provided, through the cloud, an operating system with applications to be used for day-to-day work activities? The providing company would have to implement a solution that takes a part of its computing resources from the data center and dedicates it to the customer. The current method that seems most popular is virtual machines. Through this method, the computing resources can be divided up properly to meet the customer's needs, but there is another method, while not exactly new, that is growing in use. This new method uses containers, and it requires less resources to run than those required through implementing a virtual machine. This paper will explain what containers are, how they work, and the benefits of using them.

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