Containers are all the rage among developers, who use the open source software to build, test and run applications. But the technology, offered by companies such as Docker and CoreOS, isn’t on the radar of most Fortune 500 CIOs, suggesting that it has a ways to go before it gains traction in large enterprises. That will change as CIOs swap legacy environments for cloud infrastructure and refashion their IT departments under agile and DevOps principles, experts say.
Virtualization made computing more efficient by enabling companies to run multiple operating systems on a single server. But VMs only support one application per OS. Containers take server resource utilization much further by allowing developers to run an app in its own container, and run multiple containers on the same OS. Developers can also move containers between Linux servers or virtual machines (VMs) and make changes to apps or portions of apps, called microservices, without breaking the software and risking downtime. Proponents say containers facilitates greater agility in the age of constantly updated mobile and Web apps.
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