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The three characteristics of highly effective containers

  • Posted on August 1, 2018
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes
effective container technology

What comes to mind when you hear the words “cloud transformation?” That it’s a headache? That it’s too big a challenge to tackle? That it’s intimidating? Well, if those reactions sound familiar, I’ve got good news. Because, thanks to the power of containers, there’s no need to fear taking the first step in your cloud journey.


Containers allow you to choose the pace at which your application migration and cloud transformation takes place. By leveraging containers as part of your strategy, you can gain efficiency, flexibility and increase application security.

While your specific demands from a container solution will vary, there are fairly typical requirements that most cloud journeys will share (and therefore standard expectations you should have of your containerization platform). So, here’s my take on the three core characteristics that typify high-performing containers.

1. Efficiency
One of the most prominent reasons to use a container is improved efficiency. So, the containerization vendor you select needs to prove they have a track record of driving productivity and improving the speed at which their clients can operate.

We partner with Docker, a container platform that has impressive credentials in helping enterprises just like yours to implement digital transformation at speed. Docker’s efficient container solution helps our clients to run applications faster and more reliably, as well as allowing them to redirect resources to deliver the greatest return on investment, without compromising on performance.

And to us, these strengths matter. They mean we’re able to derive the greatest benefits for our clients when they’re seeking to start their journey to the cloud using Microsoft Azure. Because consumption takes place on the container rather than the application, Azure costs are lower, as is the maintenance and licensing outlay.

Efficient container platforms such as Docker are able to drive real business impact thanks to their application density—up to four times greater than that of virtual machines, without sacrificing app performance. Container solutions like Docker are also able to deliver a 90% reduction in the time to perform common tasks, as well as faster development and deployment. Perhaps most significantly, this efficiency translates to tangible cost savings—typically as much as 30 to 50%. We’ve even helped companies like MetLife achieve a 70% TCO saving.

2. Flexibility
One of the central tenets of containerization is flexibility—the liberation of applications from their environment, and the freedom to host them wherever suits your business. That’s why it’s critical your container platform delivers true portability. Docker containers are based on open standards and run on any infrastructure including virtual machines, on-premises, and the cloud.

With a container platform that’s truly agnostic, organizations gain genuine flexibility. This gives you the ability to solve today’s requirements while building for the future. As an IT leader, you benefit by being able to run apps in any environment, without having to shackle your business to a long-term commitment.

This flexibility extends to DevOps, which become more straightforward and efficient, because developers can use the most suitable tools and languages for them.

Tread carefully though—not all containers that claim to be flexible can live up to their promises. Many will require you to use proprietary tools or scripting languages. Once again, this is why we partner with Docker—the container platform that’s able to offer real choice and agility. Docker gives our clients the option to leverage a microservices strategy and evolve their technology environment. Flexible containers support the environment you need today, and then allow you to move cost-effectively to any new architecture you choose, at the pace that’s right for you.

3. Security
Finally, robust security credentials are pivotal to any cloud journey and they’re central when considering how you’re going to engage with container platforms. Comprehensive containers will be able to improve application security and eliminate the risk profile of legacy apps, while applying modern security technologies and practices to the container and its underlying environment.

Container platforms like Docker isolate apps from your infrastructure, as well as from other applications, which reduces the exposed surface area. In addition, containers encourage the embracing of security at the inception of application development (continuing through the rest of the application lifecycle). In fact, updates deployed as part of a container can be delivered up to 99% faster than traditional security patches. This secure supply chain means you benefit from reassurance as you develop and maintain your application estate.

Start your container-driven cloud journey
Keen to learn more about containers, and how you can gain the flexibility, efficiency and security benefits we’ve discussed above? Check out our 99 reasons to move applications to the cloud. There, you’ll find out how you can begin your cloud journey (or accelerate an existing migration), and make the process better, cheaper and faster.

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