#TheCloudShow – S2E7 – Cloud and Containers
At the moment, cloud containers are a hot topic in technology, and security in particular.
The world’s top technology companies, including Microsoft, Google and Facebook, all use them.
Although it’s still early days, containers are seeing increasing use in production environments.
They promise a streamlined, easy-to-deploy and secure method of implementing specific infrastructure requirements, and they also offer an alternative to virtual machines.
The key differentiator with containers is the minimalist nature of their deployment.
Unlike virtual machines, they don’t need a full OS to be installed within the container, and they don’t need a virtual copy of the host server’s hardware.
Containers are able to operate with the minimum amount of resources to perform the task they were designed for; this can mean just a few pieces of software, libraries and the basics of an Operating System.
This results in two or three times as many containers being able to be deployed on a server than virtual machines.
Cloud containers are also very portable — once the container has been created, it can be deployed to different servers very easily.
From a software lifecycle perspective this is great, as containers can be copied to create development, test, integration and live environments very quickly, and do not require the usual configuration.
From a software- and security-testing perspective this has a large advantage, because it ensures that the underlying OS is not causing a difference in the test results.
One downside of containers is the problem of splitting your virtualization into lots of smaller chunks.
When there are just a few containers involved, it’s an advantage because you know exactly what configuration you’re deploying and where.
However, if you fully invest in containers it’s quite possible to soon have so many containers that it becomes difficult to manage.
Problems of container management are a common complaint, even with container management systems such as Docker. Virtual machines are generally considered easy to manage, primarily because there are significantly fewer VMs compared to containers.
So are they answer or just another headache?
With guest Stephen Bourke, Public Cloud IaaS Specialist at Oracle.