Enterprises and Companies are entering the phase of developing highly scalable applications. But why is that? why are we heading more towards using container orchestration tools and what are containers?
We will learn complete concepts on:
- What containers are?
- Why we use Containers and how they work?
- Why we are using container orchestration?
- Different container orchestrations tools in market
- What options we have for deployment of containers.
Containers are basically application centric methods. We use these methods to deliver high performing, scalable applications, which can be of any kind or infrastructure based. Containers are the most advanced way of providing microservices. Containers provide portable, isolated and virtually hosted environment for applications.
Some key points to understand containers are listed below:
Containers are independent of infrastructure. It means that it won’t matter which machine you deploy application on. It will run smoothly in container.
containers run microservices in an isolated and virtual environment.
Containers are highly scalable, it means they provide you advantage in terms of upgrading and scaling up your application.
Portability is a great feature of containers. Microservices running in containers can be moved, updated or taken down easily without effecting the whole application.
Confused about what microservices are?
In short, Microservices are lightweight applications which are developed in different programming languages. Each of these microservices have some dependencies, libraries of data and a database.
These microservices are deployed in a container. to deploy a microservice, it has to be packed along with all its dependencies and its run-time requirements in a package.
Containers work as encapsulater for microservices. But these containers are not supposed to run microservices on their own directly. Containers make images to run each microservice.
If you want to learn more about what microservices are? How microservices work and why we use microservices ? you can reach our article:
So, as we discussed, containers run container images to run these microservices. question arises that:
What is a Container Image?
Container image is a bundle of packaged application which also contains its functional dependencies in order to run smoothly. Container Images are deploy containers.
A container image is an immutable, inert file which is essentially jus a screenshot of a container. We can create a image of any container by “Build” command. These images are stored in docker registry.
Why containers are better than Virtual Machines(VMs)?
For Enterprises, containers are far more better option then going for VMs. Containers lets the company to pack a lot more applications than a virtual machine into a single physical server.
The draw back of using virtual machines(VMs) is that, it runs whole copy of an operating system along with virtual copy of all hardware which operating system(OS) will require. This is not the case with containers. Containers run instances of images.
To make it more interesting, lets consider example of our favorite game : Pokémon Go
The famous game also ran on Google containers Engine (GKE) which is the open source Kubernetes Project. The development team choose GKE for its ability to orchestrate their container cluster. It made live changes to game play possible. This why no matter how many players were joining the game, server never crashed as it was highly scalable.
Now, lets come to the question arising in your mind about what container orchestration really means?
What is Container Orchestration?
To be really simple:
By container orchestration, we mean the set of tools which group system together to form a cluster where all of the containers are deployed and automatically managed at a very high scale, while it also meets all the requirements.
Container orchestration is a famous trend in today’s market. Enterprises are upgrading their applications constantly and want them to be highly scalable and yet up to date.
Different container orchestrations tools in market
Migrating to cloud computing and need for managing this growing market of container management solutions have open now doors for container orchestration solution providers.
Some major contributors who have stepped in container orchestration solutions are:
- Amazon Elastic Container Service
Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) is a hosted service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS).
- Azure Container Instances
Azure Container Instance (ACI) is a basic container orchestration service provided by Microsoft Azure.
- Azure Service Fabric
Azure Service Fabric is an open source container orchestrator provided by Microsoft Azure.
Kubernetes is an open source orchestration tool, started by Google, part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) project.
Marathon is a framework to run containers at scale on Apache Mesos.
Nomad is the container orchestrator provided by HashiCorp.
- Docker Swarm
Docker Swarm is a container orchestrator provided by Docker, Inc. It is part of Docker Engine.
So tell us which container orchestration tool will rule the industry and application deployment in your sight in the comments section?