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Should You Put All Your Eggs into Container Technology?

Choosing a virtualization solution isn’t always easy. There’s a variety of choices, but there’s also several major considerations with each option. While hypervisor virtualization is common, container technology is quickly emerging as a main go-to for infrastructure development. But with any new technology, there can be a high degree of confusion about its capabilities and role in emerging data architectures. IMPEX understands key data center technologies, including container-based virtualization, and is here to provide some insight for you.

Container-based virtualization, also called operating system virtualization, is an approach in which the virtualization layer runs as an application within the operating system. With this method, the operating system’s kernel runs on the hardware node with several isolated guest virtual machines installed on top of it. This means that even though all the virtual machines are running under the same kernel, they effectively have their own file system, processes, memory, devices, etc. The isolated guests are called containers. Instead of trying to run an entire guest OS, container virtualization isolates the guests, but doesn’t try to virtualize the hardware.

There are several benefits with container-based virtualization. For example, because container-based virtualization doesn’t use complete virtual machines, there isn’t the overhead associated with having each guest run a completely installed operating system. It can also improve performance because there is just one operating system taking care of hardware calls. There are also advantages to container-based virtualization when it comes to scalability. Hypervisor virtualization usually has limits in terms of how many CPUs and how much memory a guest can address, whereas the container-based solutions should be able to address as many CPUs and as much RAM as the host kernel.

With security top-of-mind for most organizations these days, container-based virtualization is a good choice. Because container-based virtualization uses a single kernel to run multiple instances of an operating system, each instance runs in a completely isolated environment, so there is no risk that one container can gain access to another’s files.

While container-based virtualization has many things in its favor, there are considerations. A disadvantage of this technology is that each guest must use the same operating system the host uses, so you don’t have the flexibility to virtualize different operating systems.

Some companies may prefer hypervisors and the option of having many operating systems. Others may choose a container-based virtual environment to make more efficient use of their existing virtual infrastructure and better serve the rapid-fire, immediate demands of a mobile, collaborative workforce.

When it comes to the best choice for your company when it comes to virtualization or your entire IT infrastructure, it’s important to do your homework and to choose a partner that can evaluate your needs today and as your company grows. IMPEX would like to become your trusted advisor. Our deep expertise in end-user computing, applications, virtualization and cloud infrastructure make us a partner of choice. We invite you to contact us to discuss your needs.