Developers can run into problems when their applications lack scalability or compatibility. To ensure applications can meet the demands of users, developers must devote considerable time to testing, but they may need access to additional resources in order to do that.
When developers are testing the functionality of an application, a host server may become less responsive. That means, in the workplace, end users may find that everyday computing tasks take longer to perform. That’s why it makes sense to have a separate server dedicated solely to development and testing. And creating applications inside their own operating environments – or, containers – allows developers to move applications easily between systems and environments.
The Container Craze
Container computing has existed for at least a decade, without much fanfare. But it has been in the news a lot since June 2014, since the startup Docker introduced a more sophisticated approach to container development.
Docker’s containers allow for the development of applications that can be run on any Linux machine. Linux is similar to an operating system like Windows, only it’s an open-source, non-proprietary OS, funded by several corporations. The function of Linux is something like an intermediary. It hands off a user request to an operating system, which then performs the desired function. It also facilitates interaction of applications.
With Docker’s containers, users can create an exact replication of a live server, which allows developers to conduct accurate tests. Any application developed within a Docker container can be moved easily among operating systems, and virtual and physical servers, because its components are self-contained in one tidy, virtual package. Container applications don’t waste OS resources; because they operate independently, they don’t continue to run in the background when not in use.
Docker, like Linux, is an open-source project, so users can access its software for free. The company will likely make money by offering upgraded packages that come with service and support, but even without a plan for revenue, Docker has gotten millions of dollars in investor support.
On June 22, Docker announced the launch of the Open Container Project, which is a multi-business partnership that aims to create standards for container computing. Its goals include ensuring container “portability, interopability, and agility,” as the technology evolves, and that it doesn’t come under the exclusive control of any single entity.
Containers offer developers agility and scalability, and those are two features Lifeline Data Centers embraces. Our colocation data center allows growing businesses to create virtual and physical environments to suit their needs. Whether it’s temporary office space, or a place for developers to design and test applications, Lifeline’s solutions give businesses the flexibility they need to grow. Find out what we can offer you. Schedule a tour today.