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November 2016, Vol. 5, No. 10

Secure containers by anticipating and addressing potential risks

Containers are the hottest software idea in IT. The concept of sharing the common parts of a VM -- the operating system, management tools and even applications -- reduces the memory footprint of any image by a large factor, while saving the network bandwidth associated with the loading of many copies of essentially the same code. These are not trivial savings. Early estimates of containers supporting three to five times the number of instances that traditional hypervisor-based approaches can manage are proving true. In some cases, such as the virtual desktop infrastructure market, results are even better. Notably, containers can be created and deployed in a fraction of the time it takes for a VM to be made. The economics of containers are substantially better than hypervisor virtualization, but containers are a new technology, and that immaturity still has to incorporate the -- sometimes painful -- lessons we learned for hypervisor virtualization. While many organizations are working with containers at some level, most would ...

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