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Overview of Container Management and the Related Platforms

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Introduction to Container Management

Container Management is the process of organizing, replacing, and adding software containers. Basically, it is used to manage the containers. It uses software to manage the containers required and deploys or scales them as per the requirement. Container Management solves the issue of deploying the containers one by one separately. Using the operating-system-level virtualization, it manages the software containers. It streamlines container delivery and optimizes its efficiency without the use of complex interdependent structures.
Container management provides software and/or services that support the management of containers, at scale, in production environments. Source: Gartner, Inc
Containers are popular because it enables faster deployment and development of applications. They have all the software, libraries, and files to run the application. It combines the microservices and the libraries into one unit, which can be deployed on the container management software without affecting the host operating system's computer resources.

Need For Container Management

Container Management is a buzzword nowadays within Enterprises willing to establish a proper management procedure for the container software. Get to know some of the reasons below:
  1. Quick deployment of containers
  2. Quick update of the application
  3. Provides scheduling
  4. Application Security
  5. Storage and Monitoring
  6. Removes the differences in the environment
  7. The great degree of modularity
  8. Lightweight as compared to a virtual machine
  9. Quick boot-up as compared to the virtual machine

Container Management Platform

Container Management Platform or Software consists of a runtime environment that contains the application, its dependencies, all the supporting files, and configuration settings needed to run the application and are contained in a single package. Willing to know about a popular container management platform now? Scroll ahead.

Docker Platform

Docker, a renowned Container Management Platform, supports various applications, OS, infrastructure, and orchestrators. It enables automated and integrated container security policies. Docker provides automated governance and is portable across clouds.

Pros of Docker

  • Works well with CI/CD.
  • Use less storage space.
  • Many docker images are available.
  • Better as compared to virtualization as less downtime.
  • No need not worry about different versions of programming language, libraries, etc.
  • Docker is an open-source project.
  • A lot of plugins are available for Docker.

Cons of Docker

  • Hard to set up.
  • It takes time to understand the concept and working of Docker.
  • It takes a lot more time to create persistent storage.
  • No proper GUI available.

AWS Fargate Platform

AWS Fargate is a serverless compute engine that works for Amazon Elastic Container Service and Amazon Kubernetes Service. It enables the execution of containers without managing the servers or clusters. This Container Management Platform also enables to focus on the application rather than addressing the infrastructure to run them. Fargate manages the infrastructure and scaling for the container on its own.

Pros of Fargate

  • Building a cloud-native application is easy with this tool.
  • Good for horizontal scaling.
  • Easy scale up and scale down of production workloads dynamically.
  • Launching a large number of containers can be done in seconds.
  • Easy integration with the EC-2 instance.
  • Execute containers without thinking about managing servers and clusters.
  • Simple and easy to use User Interface.

Cons of Fargate

  • Requires significant effort to learn and implement.
  • Costly as compared to other container services.
  • Its customer support is not that strong, as it is a new product.
  • Container storage is limited to the task.

Google Kubernetes Engine

Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) is secured and managed Kubernetes service, which supports multi-cluster and auto-scaling. This Container Management Platform provides hybrid networking to provide clusters to coexist with the private network through Google Cloud VPN. It supports auto repair when enabled. The GKE initiates the repair for the node which has failed the health check.

Pros of GKE

  • Support Load Balancing.
  • Support Docker images.
  • Allows auto-scaling.
  • GPU Support.
  • Container Optimised OS
  • Intuitive GUI.
  • High SLA of 99.5%.
  • Clusters can be managed through the web interface.
  • Highly secured.
  • Easy setup on Google cloud.

Cons of GKE

  • Setting up a manual cluster is time-consuming and costly.
  • Time-consuming in detecting errors and deploying an automated fix.
  • Logs are difficult to understand.
  • Need time to expertise in this tool.

Amazon Elastic Container Service

Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) is a Container Management Platform that supports Docker containers and permits users to execute and scale containerized applications on Amazon AWS easily. This service is highly scalable. It eliminates the requirement to install and manage your own container orchestration software.

Pros of ECS

  • Easy integration with other services present in Amazon cloud.
  • Container Auto-recovery.
  • Supports AWS Fargate technology, which handles the availability of containers.
  • Provides a good foundation for the Continuous Deployment pipeline.
  • Compatible with Windows containers via Amazon Machine Image.
  • Support Elastic Load Balancing.
  • Ability to define a custom scheduler.
  • For monitoring and access control support Amazon Cloud

Cons of ECS

  • Creating a load balancer service is challenging.
  • The problem of capacity while deploying the new version of the Docker image.

Microsoft Azure Platform

Microsoft Azure is a unique Container Management Platform that offers different container services according to its needs. It has hybrid platform support and is a fully managed container platform. Azure supports most of the programming languages.
Your Requirement Use This
Scaling and Orchestrating Linux Containers employing Kubernetes Azure Kubernetes Service
Install APIs or web Apps employing Linux containers in a PaaS environment Azure App Service
Elastic Bursting with AKS, Event-driven Apps Azure Container Instances
Batch computing, cloud-scale job scheduling Azure Batch
Microservices development Azure Service Fabric
Store and manage images of all kinds of containers Azure Container Registry

Pros of Azure

  • Easy setup.
  • Run on-premise or in the cloud.
  • Very Interactive CLI
  • Works well with CI/CD.
  • Very flexible
  • Highly scalable
  • Application Insights and Log Analytics for a complete view of containers.
  • Run on-premise or in the cloud.
  • Compatible with many Open source client-side tools.

Cons of Azure

  • After deployment, difficult to upgrade Kubernetes nodes.
  • Multiple OS cannot be integrated under a single container.

Summing-up Container Management

Container Management Platform comes with its merits and demerits, and the main thing in choosing the right Container Management Platform depends upon the user requirements and the features. No container management platform can fulfill the requirement alone. All the thing boils down to the feature, which is more important in the container management platform, and what are things the user can let go.

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