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Virtual Machines vs. Containers – Which is Better?


Containers are being adopted by businesses all around the world. According to Research and Markets, over 3.5 billion apps are currently operating in Docker containers, and 48 percent of companies utilize Kubernetes to manage containers at scale.

Containers have a variety of advantages over previous generations of virtualization technologies. Because virtual machines (VMs) are faster, lighter, and easier to manage and automate, they are being phased out in many common scenarios.

We’ll go through the advantages of containers over virtual machines, how they will help you achieve managed DevOps Services, why you should start using them, and the key prerequisites for a successful container adoption in your organization.

Virtualization vs. Containers

To better appreciate the benefits of containers and why they’re becoming so popular, let’s look at the differences between regular virtualization and containerization.

What’s the Difference Between Virtual Machines and Containers?

Virtual machines (VMs), which were established by VMware over two decades ago and are used to build a virtualized computing environment, are employed by the majority of significant enterprises. A virtual machine is an emulation of a computer. Virtual machines (VMs) allow many operating systems to operate on a single server, significantly increasing the amount of resources consumed by enterprise applications.

Virtual machines are managed by a software layer known as a hypervisor, which isolates them from one another and allocates hardware resources to each one. Direct or virtualized access to CPU, memory, storage, and networking resources is available to each VM.

A virtual computer with a full operating system, including programmes and libraries, is known as a “guest” OS. Because there is no dependency between the VM and the host operating system, Linux VMs can run on Windows.

Containers are software units that run on top of an operating system in isolation (usually Linux or Windows). Unlike virtual machines, they just run software and their dependencies. Containers don’t need to run a whole operating system on each instance; instead, they share the kernel and use the host operating system’s capabilities to access hardware. As a result, containers become smaller, faster, and more portable.

Containers allow developers to leverage additional CPU and memory on physical devices, similar to virtual machines. Containers, on the other hand, have gone a step farther in this regard.

Scenarios where Containers work better than Virtual Machines :

Let us look into the three main scenarios when containers outperform virtual machines. :

Microservices –  microservices architecture separates systems into small, self-contained components that can be deployed and scaled independently, and containers are great for this. Containers are a viable option for delivering and scaling each of those microservices.

Multi-cloud – Containers provide substantially more flexibility and portability than VMs in multi-cloud environments. Containerized software components can easily be “lifted and transferred” from on-premise bare metal servers to on-premise virtualized systems to public cloud environments.

Automation – Containers are well-suited to automation and continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines due to their ease of management via API.

Containers for Business

There are a lot of benefits offered by containers that enhance business growth and also offer Managed DevOps Services.

Let us look into a few of them.


Containers can run on Linux, Windows, MacOS, and a variety of other operating systems as long as the container engine supports it. Containers can run on bare metal servers, virtual machines, and virtual machines, as well as on a developer’s laptop. They can easily be moved between on-premise machines and the public cloud, and they will continue to function in both environments.

Resource Efficiency and Density

Because containers do not require their own operating system, they consume fewer resources. Containers are often tens of gigabytes in size, allowing a server to run many more containers than virtual machines. Containers require less hardware, which results in increased server density and reduced data center and cloud costs.

Container isolation and resource sharing

You can run many containers on the same server that are completely segregated from one another. Containers and the programmes they contain can crash, although other containers running the same application can continue to work normally. Container isolation has security advantages as long as attackers are prevented from gaining access to the host operating system through correct container configuration.


In a matter of seconds, containers can be launched, produced, replicated, or destroyed.

Containers are compact packages that contain everything you need to run an application, including the operating system, code, dependencies, and libraries.

You can create a container image and deploy it in a matter of seconds. You can quickly replicate containers and deploy them once you’ve built the image. A container can be destroyed in a matter of seconds.

Because containers are lightweight, you can quickly release new programmes and upgrades including bug fixes and new features. This typically results in a more rapid development process, as well as a shorter time to market and fewer operational obligations.


Containers make horizontal scaling of distributed programmes a breeze. You can add several, identical containers to create additional instances of the same application. Container orchestrators may do smart scaling, which allows you to run only the number of containers required to satisfy application loads while keeping the cluster’s resources in mind.

Improved Productivity 

Containers allow developers to create predictable runtime environments for application components that include all software requirements while remaining isolated from other apps on the same computer. From a developer’s perspective, this assures that the component they’re working on can be deployed consistently across all platforms. The old adage “that worked on my machine” no longer holds true with container technology.

In a containerized architecture, developers and operations teams spend less time debugging and troubleshooting environmental variations, allowing them to focus on inventing and delivering new product features. Containers can also be tested and optimized by developers, reducing errors and ensuring they are suitable for production.

What Are the Prerequisites for Containerization Adoption Success?

Here’s a checklist to help you successfully containerize your applications:

Setup and Design: Make use of materials with a fine granularity.

The smaller the unit, the easier it is to manage. Make fine-grained, self-contained modules out of your components. Each unit should be capable of developing, deploying, scaling, and maintaining itself.

Security and Orchestration: Create a container security system.

Container images, containers, hosts, registries, runtimes, and your orchestrator all require security policies and precautions to be enforced. For example, you can use secrets to protect critical data and harden your environment.

Take advantage of container orchestrators.

Implementing, running, and managing tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of containers is required when deploying containerized apps in production. To successfully manage containers, you’ll need a container orchestration platform with automation and management features for activities like deployment, scaling, resource provisioning, and more. Kubernetes is a well-liked open source solution.

Automation and Efficiency: Improve the efficiency of your pipeline by automating it

In addition to container orchestration, you may automate your entire development pipeline—or as many components of it as possible. Automation can let you iterate quickly and make any necessary adjustments. This can be accomplished by combining a container orchestration platform with other complementary solutions.

Infrastructure as if it were code (IaC)

Many infrastructure components can be defined in declarative fields in IaC, which are subsequently used to automate the process. In container platforms, IaC capabilities are widespread, allowing you to define the environment and turn it into code. Other solutions, such as security or resource optimization, give IaC capabilities for specific stages of the development process.

Culture: Make use of agile development methods.

Agile methodologies aid teams in streamlining the development lifecycle and bridging silos. For example, DevOps, which stands for development and operations, guarantees that development and operational tasks are accomplished quickly and effectively. Teams that design and manage containerized environments may find this incredibly useful.

Encourage developers to work on their own projects.

Teams should be able to fund their initiatives independently. This means that collaborators will need access to code repositories, compute power, automation features, and image repositories, among other things. When granting access and rights, employ granular permissions.


Therefore, Containers are the best way to run your applications in a cloud-based environment. They give you the flexibility and scalability you need to meet the demands of a modern business and also help you achieve Managed DevOps Services.