Technology is moving at a rapid pace. You need to be able release your applications quickly to keep your business in mind. Software development and support teams must constantly search for cost-saving and time-saving solutions. The ideal solution would reduce the time required to create and configure deployment environments, while simplifying the software deployment process.
Containers are the answer. Cloud containerization is becoming more popular worldwide. Containerization eliminates the need to install operating systems and software in order to host a deployment. Let’s take a closer look into Containers and how they can be used in Microsoft Azure.
What are containers?
A container is a type of software package that contains the code of an application, the configuration files and libraries and the dependencies required for the app to run. This allows developers and IT professionals the ability to distribute apps across multiple environments. Containers share the host operating systems and execute isolated operations. Machine virtualisation happens at the hardware level and allows for multiple instances of an operating program. Software development technologies use a similar approach to shipping to separate different cargoes for shipment.
What is the purpose of containers?
Moving an application from one environment to the next can cause problems. This problem is as old as software development itself. These problems are often caused by differences in configuration, underlying library requirements, or other dependencies. Containers in Microsoft Azure resolve this problem by providing a lightweight, immutable infrastructure that allows for the packaging and deployment of applications. A container image is a package that includes an application or service, all its dependencies, and its configuration. The containerized application can then be tested and deployed to the host system as a container instance. Containers allow IT professionals and developers to deploy applications in environments that require little or no modification.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of this practice now that we know its importance.
Are containers the same as virtual machines?
A container is a pre-made software environment that includes the application’s code and any dependencies. It can be embedded within an image. Containers are one form of virtualization. You might wonder if virtual machines and containers are the same thing.
This is incorrect. There are fundamental differences between the two technologies.
Virtual machines (VMs), at a high level, are able to virtualize the hardware so that multiple operating system (OS), instances can run on it. Each virtual machine runs an OS and has access to virtualized resources. Virtual Machines offer many benefits. These include the ability to run multiple operating system on the same server, a more reliable and efficient utilisation of physical resources, and faster server provisioning. Each VM contains an OS image, libraries and applications. Thus, VMs can grow to be very large.
A Container, on other hand, virtualizes underlying OS giving the containerized app the illusion that it has all the OS’s including memory and file storage. The container can be deployed anywhere the base picture is consistent, regardless of the differences in the OS or infrastructure. This makes it very appealing for developers.
Containers don’t need to load libraries or boot an OS. They can share the OS. Containers are much lighter and more powerful.

How can we use containers in Microsoft Azure? Blog