Container is a standard way to package the code of an application and its associated dependencies. Containers are aimed at solving portability problems (i.e. those that occur when moving software from one environment to another) in an efficient and effective manner. Container management is a key part of containerization and reduces the complexity of interdependent systems by facilitating container distribution.
If you are not clear on what containers are, feel free to read our article about containerization to get more information.
What is Container Management?
Container management is the process of editing, adding, or changing a large number of software containers. Container management software aims to automatically create, deploy, and scale containers. The container management platforms optimize efficiency of containers without complex system architectures. Container management platforms enable these features for containers:
- Deployment: For the container of the application, it is necessary to export a deployment file of each criteria that defines its deployment. These criteria include elements such as RAM, CPU and storage units.
- Scaling: Container management software makes the necessary adjustments to provide the required resources per container. Necessary space and hardware requirements are determined and managed instantly by the management software. Schedulers determine and provide priority, based on the demand and supply of resources.
- Monitoring: Once deployed, system maintenance is required. Container management software is an important tool to handle monitoring and notify when a deployment ends. It allows automated management of certificates. Rolling restarts, automated health checks and maintenance are simplified with these tools. While container monitoring tools are generally integrated with container management tools, there are also separate container monitoring tools.
Why use Container Management?
Container management software such as Kubernetes and Docker Swarm are designed to provide automation that allows dev/ops teams to tackle the rapid changes required when an application is being developed. Deploying container-based applications automatically to operating systems and the public cloud requires a management tool which provides automation since this is a complicated and automatable task.
The need for container management occurred when there were a large number of containers and they became too complex to be manually managed by dev/ops teams. As enterprises begin to adapt containers beyond the development / testing stages, additional tools are needed to effectively manage containers.
How to choose the right container management platform?
There are many needs-oriented options for container management and these options differ in terms of cost, management requirements and the required skill sets. Organizations inexperienced in managing a container environment can take advantage of an option supported by the provider. More sophisticated dev/ops departments can proceed with open source options. At this point, the basic features that organizations should pay attention to are summarized:
- Ease of management: Container management is a challenging task because it may require interpretation and analysis of raw data. Thus, management tools need to facilitate and automate container management work.
- Vendor support: It is inevitable for a small and inexperienced management team to make mistakes or to get things done slowly. At this point, some container management tools offer vendor support. This option can be vital for small teams.
- Production-readiness: A production-ready solution that saves time and money helps tackle configuration problems. Automating features such as backup, recovery and restore in all management tasks is crucial for speeding up the production line.
- Future-readiness: The management tool used should ensure that applications can run in a variety of environments without the need for adaptation. Management tools should be flexible and capable of adapting to architectural changes.
What are the best practices for container management?
Some best practices for container management are listed below:
- Fast Containers: Speed is an important advantages of container technology against virtual machines (VMs). Optimizing container performance is essential for container management.
- Disposable Containers: The task of some containers is to disappear after completing an operation. If a container was generated for a temporary task, the container can be destroyed after that task is fulfilled. This helps avoid design bloating. This feature is included in most container management solutions.
- Less process in containers: The number of containers created, used and deleted does not have to be limited to small numbers. Each container can execute multiple operations in its environment. The more transactions a container does, the slower it will be. In most situations, keeping one operation per container is an easy-to-manage approach to container management.
- Minimizing data storage in containers: Data storage increases the disk read and write rate of a container. The software repository is a better tool than containers for storing data. Access to the repository can be provided to the containers on request, thereby reducing the size of the container. This prevents different containers from loading and storing unnecessary data.
- Networking for security of containers: The user-defined bridge network between containers provides access to all ports within the network and helps create a safe environment for containers. By blocking all the ports in the outside world, internal traffic flows continuously and is protected from external factors.
If you want to use container management software, feel free to check out our data-driven lists of vendors.
If you have questions about how container management can help your business, we can help:
Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.
Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.
Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.
He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
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