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Cloud containers

Cloud containers

Cloud containers definition

A cloud container is an isolated environment holding an application and its dependencies at the operating system level. Cloud containers allow apps to be run from cloud services in a consistent manner no matter what the host system is.

Cloud containers are created from images — read-only templates that define applications and their dependencies. Containerization technology is distinct from traditional virtualization, where each virtual machine includes its own operating system. Containers share the host system’s operating system kernel for greater efficiency.

See also: public cloud infrastructure, cloud attack, cloud operating system, cloud sandboxing, container technology, container isolation, container breakout

Typical cloud container components

  • Application code: The actual code of the application that you want to run inside the container. This could be a web application, microservice, or some other software component.
  • System tools: The components necessary for the containerized environment to interact with the host system. These include shell, process management, and networking tools.
  • Libraries: Collections of precompiled code for specific functions that the application in the container regularly uses.
  • Settings: The configuration parameters and environment variables that define how the containerized application should behave when it is executed.

Popular containerization platforms

  • Docker is one of the most widely used containerization platforms, with tools for creating, distributing, and managing images and cloud containers.
  • Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform that automates the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications.
  • OpenShift is a cloud container platform that expands on the features provided by Kubernetes.

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