containers vs virtual machines

Containers Vs Virtual Machines: Know the difference

There has been dramatic progress with the adoption of containers. It has been estimated that the proportion of harnessing application containers will elevate by 40% at the close of 2020. Since it enables agile and effective development process, enterprises are rushing in adopting containers. Yet many are still confused to distinguish containers vs virtual machines.

In fact, there are a lot of questions arise in the mind of people while classifying containers and virtual machines such as

  • What is the disparity between Virtual Machines and containers?
  • Doesn’t the ephemeral nature of the containers affect tenacious storage?
  • How do they aid the contemporary Virtualization and Orchestration solutions?

In this blog, let’s address these questions and get a clarity

containers vs virtual machines

Decoding Virtual Machines (VMs)

VMs took birth when the bare metal applications are struggled to explore the preponderance of resources. This innovative technology was processed by running software on physical servers to imitate a specific hardware system. However, to virtualize a server, we need a hypervisor. The hypervisor couples, or, in other words, acts as a bridge between the hardware and the VM, which are necessary to create virtual machines. This hypervisor could be hardware, firmware, or software as well.

There is a guest operating system placed inside each virtual machine. Those VMs which has varied operating systems could operate on the same physical server. For instance, a UNIX VM can operate beside a LINUX VM. The size of a VM may be numerous gigabytes with its libraries, binaries, and applications which it services.

The key benefit of server virtualization is its competency to integrate applications over a single system. The concept and practice of a single application running on a single server have elapsed. Virtualization extensively helped enterprises to eliminate server overheads.  

VM’s cloud drastically reduces the cost by diminished footprints, rapid server provisioning, and enhanced disaster recovery processes. Further, VM’s enabled the unused severs to re-employed for QA, development processes. The increased use on larger, faster servers eventually liberated these ignored servers.

However, the major downside is that each VM incorporates an individual operating system image, which adds aloft in memory and storage footprint. Hence, it is vivid that this problem adds complexity to the various software development cycle levels- ranging from developments and tests to production and disaster recovery. The mobility of applications along with public and private clouds and the traditional centers, are adversely affected in this approach.

Containers- A Study

The fame of operating system virtualization has elevated through the last decade; hence it empowers software to function stably and effectively. On the other hand, they derived a new pathway to run these standalone systems on a single server.

Let’s have a look at containers and learn how they are distinguished from VM’S.

The containers’ position themselves on top of the physical server, and over the host OS, such as LINUX or Windows. Every container shares the binaries and libraries with the host OS kernel  (the binaries and libraries and all the shared elements would be read-only). The containers are megabytes in size and start quickly compared to exceptionally weighty VMs that weigh gigabytes and take minutes to initiate.

In addition, Containers share a common operating system that truncates the management’s operation overhead. They need to take care of a single operating system. So no more complex bug fixes, patches, and downtimes. And the resemblance exists between containers and VMs in apparent in its management points. However, while we consider containers vs virtual machines, the distinguishing factor is the portability and compactness of containers than virtual machines.

Bottom Line

Among the several disparities between containers and VMs, the cardinal one is the pathway to virtualization accustomed to containers, enabling multiple workloads to run on a single OS. Apart from that, containers can be deemed as a powerful tool to streamline software development due to their speed, agility, and portability. As we discoursed on a topic such as containers vs virtual machines, we hope you got a clear idea about how containers differ from virtual machines

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