6 years ago

What are the Benefits of Using Containers and Microservices?

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Containers and microservices working and connecting together seamlessly.

Ericsson AB datacom division head Martin Backstrom put it succinctly when he said that containers are a must for today’s applications if you want to remain competitive. Backstrom reasoned that containers give you better performance from your hardware.

Indeed in today’s world, innovation is still the differentiator when it comes to beating out the competition. If you want to succeed, you simply do not wait for the next production means, technology, or business model to be introduced. You create the change you want and innovate even if the current way of doing things is proving to be successful.

Network users are now expecting more. Because of the development of 5G, there would be more demands and new requirements when it comes to delivering services. Monolithic networks are not going to be able to hack it when it comes to becoming more agile.

The good news is that there are two technologies that would be able to deliver on the new requirements of network users:

  1. containers and
  2. microservices.

Both of these technologies have been around for some time and using them brings tremendous cost and resources benefits. There are virtually no or very low risk associated with both of them as well.

The Benefits

Lower costs. In this age where technological advancements come at a very fast rate, everything you are using now will be obsolete in a few months’ time. Imagine having a $1,000 smartphone with a 24 megapixel camera now, only to find that 36 megapixel cameras are available 4 weeks later. Don’t you wish that you would be able to just swap out the camera to the latest version? The good news is that this is possible with hardware. You can just buy a simple hardware and then use microservices to add the functionalities you want. You can upgrade everything when you want it, as individual components improve over time. So not only do you save money from buying more cost-effective hardware, microservices also allow you to get all the features you need. Plus, you do not have to replace everything in one go.

Simple and scalable. Microservices and containers allow you to forego on building a whole new task or investing in huge infrastructure. You can add advancements as you go and you can test new configurations with different services and things very quickly. This allows you to keep things simple, yet be able to experiment with new services. If it works, the microservice stays, but if it does not, you can take it off.

Low risk. In short, microservices allow you to fail fast and yet still not be afraid to innovate. This is because you do not have to touch your entire IT environment. You only work with the particular microservice or container you need.

Say goodbye to vendor lock-ins. Microservices come in different forms, and uses different programming languages. By its very nature, microservices are not dependent on just one vendor. Even one microservice is not dependent on another microservice. Microservices decentralize data management as well because each microservice can store the data it needs to work properly. What’s more, it is very easy to migrate an entire set of microservices to another environment.

Photo courtesy of OpenSource.com (Flickr).

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