Although it hasn’t yet reached the stage of ubiquity, container technology is well on its way to becoming a fundamental part of the IT infrastructure toolbox. While its many uses revolve around applications and app development, they are delivering ROI in multiple forms. A Forrester study found that 66 percent of organizations who adopted containers experienced accelerated developer efficiency with even more seeing an increase in application deployment speed.
Much like IoT and the cloud, container technology has so many use cases that it is becoming foundational to the future of IT infrastructure. As a primer, these are six strategic use cases for container technology that cut across business sectors and sizes.
Containers make microservices possible for building complex applications that can have decoupled processes for an infinite number of use cases. The result is much broader data functionality where microservices can work with one another to create entirely new services and applications on the fly.
#2. Containers and IoT
Paired containers and microservices have become a major catalyst for IoT, big data and analytics. Because containers deliver software inside easily deployable portable packages, they are an ideal means to install and update applications that run on IoT devices—especially those with minimal processing power. Sensor-specific libraries can be bundled with the application in a container, which provides application portability across IoT devices.
#3: Containers as a Service
Containers-as-a-Service (CaaS) is a form of container-based virtualization where container engines, orchestration, and underlying computer resources are delivered as a cloud provider service. This makes it much easier for containers and the cloud to become the developer’s platform for creation in a way that simplifies the development process while increasing agility. As a result, the DevOps teams can automate more of the development process for any containerized application, reducing the time to deploy and go live into production.
#4. Server Consolidation
Server consolidation brings numerous benefits to organizations by reducing data center footprints, lowering costs, and maximizing server capacity among others. One way to achieve server consolidation ROI is via containers. Containers don’t have multiple OS memory footprints and they can share unused memory across the instances, which can deliver dense consolidation possibilities.
Containers make multi-tenant applications possible without major application rewrites that can be time-consuming and costly. That makes them a major use case for fast and simple multi-tenancy IoT application development to make it possible to run multiple instances of app tiers for each tenant.
#6. Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Strategies
Businesses from startups to global enterprises understand the cost savings, agility, and operational efficiency produced by a hybrid cloud approach. This is the reason why many businesses are considering a multi-cloud approach with containers for everything from disaster recovery to application hosting and app development.
Containers are being used far more with multi-cloud application platform solutions like Pivotal Cloud Foundry. By starting with a foundation of multi-cloud management best practices, organizations can use this pairing to harness the flexibility of multiple programming languages and cloud infrastructures. Equally important is the versatility that comes from being able to host workloads on premise, in public clouds, or within managed infrastructures.
These are just six of the many use cases for container technology that have made them a go-to approach for businesses in all sectors and of all sizes. The possibilities only start with their ability to foster developer empowerment and speeding the DevOps pipeline. Other use cases include running API servers and web applications, to running CUDA applications as well as full-fledged High Definition Desktop Cloud Visualization—where users are able to use the GPU from inside the running container.
Containers are increasingly used for application modernization that occurs in just days. The adoption of the DevSecOps approach will bring even greater security possibilities with containers. With container adoption expected to grow into a nearly $3 billion dollar market by 2020 according to 451 Research, its use cases continue to expand across every sector.