Containers are one of the most important technology solutions for the year ahead, according to Red Hat, who says containerisation is one the driving forces behind DevOps.
Containersation is a system of packaging up code into software micro-environments for flexible deployments, and is one of the driving forces behind DevOps, the IT approach that combines development and operations in one unified front.
“DevOps is all about being able to work on things faster, and DevOps has two key elements: microservices and containers,” explains Colin McCabe, director, consulting and training, Red Hat.
“Microservices are small, independent software processes, while containers are the frameworks within which these microservices can be moved around and deployed,” he says.
"You can compare DevOps with Lego blocks, where you can easily modify the structure to make very different things,” McCabe says.
“This flexibility lets people concentrate on the application being developed and its speed to market, rather than the development process itself.
He says, “This new way of doing things, underpinned by microservices and containers, is rapidly transforming IT.”
The rise of hybrid IT and multiple cloud deployments are also contributing to the importance of containers in the IT industry, according to McCabe.
“The ease with which containers can be used to deploy code in almost any compute environment is fundamentally changing how IT departments approach development,” he says.
“The promise of containers is that, whichever language your application is written in, whichever technologies it might use, you can still package and deploy them across a wide variety of environments with limited recoding,” says McCabe. “With containers, there’s consistency across environments, as well as portability and choice.”
McCabe says containers offer a way for application microservices to be reusable, helping IT departments save time on development and money on servers. However, he says organisations need to be aware of security questions around containers.
“There are a growing number of container options that can provide the security needed to use containers safely,” McCabe explains.
“IT teams are looking at containerisation to speed up their development processes and make operations more cost-effective,” he says.
“For containers to dominate the IT industry in 2016 and beyond, security needs to become a top priority. Once security is taken care of, containerisation stands as one of the major driving forces of the IT industry in the coming year.”