As nearly 70% of all developers adopt containerization as their method of expedient deployment and cost-savings, managing containers has become one of the most important facets of computing. The following is a primer on the concept of container orchestration, covering its definition, benefits, and why you should consider enlisting managed services to help speed up your deployment.
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What is a Container in Cloud Computing?
Containers are packaged operating systems that ship with applications rather than relying on their installation destination to contain them. We used to employ virtual machines to facilitate this, and still do, but containers package libraries, dependencies, and runtimes without the overhead of an entire virtual operating system. This means they are much more lightweight, faster, and manageable, which is why they’ve become the go-to among app developers and publishers who rely on timely deployment of assets.
Like virtual machines, containers are not bound to their operating systems, so they can operate in any environment. This opens up many avenues for deploying modules and entire applications across multiple systems, which in turn makes development, testing, hosting, and updating more seamless operations.
What is Container Orchestration?
If the containers are the individual instruments that must synchronize for the right resources to reach the right destinations, container orchestration platforms like Kubernetes are the conductors. In fact, container orchestration is vital for developers who want to get the most out of their container-based infrastructure.
Why Use Container Orchestration
These are some of the main benefits of containers, and by extension, container orchestration:
- Rapid Deployment – The containers themselves eliminate the need for additional software and virtualized hardware at the destination, since they are each portable and carry the relevant parts of any OS kernel with them.
- Automated Operations – No matter how simple their purpose, containers bring an inherent layer of complexity to any pipeline. Container orchestration simplifies this by performing most of the time-consuming and intensive checks for us, creating a more efficient production environment that should translate directly toward your budget.
- Improved Scalability – The aforementioned portability and orchestration means containerization scales with tasks and workloads much easier. This is a boon for testing and development since it overcomes workarounds and time-consuming adjustments, but also for production, since assets can reach many more live users before resource allocation becomes an issue.
- Improved Security – Automating some of the tedious checks and balances required for QA doesn’t just preserve the moral of a team, it removes the possibility of human error where applicable. As any security assessor will tell you, this eliminates many security threats to a system.
Recommendations and Expert Help for Container Orchestration
These are our top two recommendations for container orchestration software and a link to a corresponding page where you can speak to experts about it. Note that the field has many more options and these are the most effective to get you started.
- Hashicorp Nomad – We are big fans of Nomad by Hashi for container orchestration. In full transparency, we are partners with Hashicorp, but their simple and flexible scheduler and orchestrator does a beautiful job of deploying and managing containers and non-containerized applications across on-prem and clouds at scale.
- Kubernetes – This name is synonymous with container orchestration. Kubernetes comes in countless versions that work with countless other cloud-based systems to facilitate their container deployment at scale. The steep learning curve of Kubernetes makes it a logical choice for managed cloud deployment services.
- Docker – This name is synonymous with containers themselves, as the most viable option for dependable packaging and creation. Docker also provides its own container orchestration tool called Docker Swarm, which some might find more suitable than Kubernetes due to its native handling of Docker containers.
- Major Platforms – The major cloud providers–Microsoft (ACI), Amazon (EC2), Google (Cloud Run)–each have their own built-in container orchestration mechanics, though less robust than the previous entries.