People sometimes confuse Containers technology with Virtual Machines (VMs) or server virtualization technology. In fact, containers and virtual machine (VMs) are similar resource virtualization technologies but containers are very different from VMs.

1. What is the Container?

Containers are lightweight software packages that contain all the dependencies required to execute the contained software application and typically measured by the megabyte. To orchestrate multi containers, we need a Container Orchestration like Docker composer, Docker Swarm, Kubernetes, Sun Spinner etc.,. Like VMs, containers allow developers can improve CPU and memory utilization of physical machine, however, containers can go even further.

Containers can enable micro-services architectures that should be encapsulated into Containers so they could be deployed quickly with minimum resource consumption.

 The model of Micro-service should be encapsulated into Containers

The model of Micro-service should be encapsulated into Containers

1.1 Pros

Integration speed: Containers are lightweight and only include high level software so they are very fast to modify and iterate on

Diversity ecosystem system: it’s easy to integrate micro-services that repositories contain many common software applications such as databases or messaging systems and can be downloaded and executed instantly, saving development teams time

Increased portability: Applications running in containers can be deployed easily to multiple different operating systems and hardware platforms

1.2 Cons

–  Lacking Security measures: Containers just provides lightweight isolation within the same system. This leads to a weaker security boundary compared to virtual machines

1.3 Use-cases

Develop new container-native applications: Much like refactoring, this approach unlocks the full benefits of containers.

Provide better support for micro-services architectures: Distributed applications and micro-services can be more easily isolated, deployed, and scaled using individual container building blocks.

Provide DevOps support for continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD): Container technology supports streamlined build, test, and deployment from the same container images.

Provide easier deployment of repetitive jobs and tasks: Containers are being deployed to support one or more similar processes, which often run in the background, such as ETL functions or batch jobs.

Source: Netapp

1.4 Popular Containers Providers

There are some popular containers providers in the world such as:

  • Google Kubernete Engine
  • Docker
  • Sun Containers Spinners (Sunteco)
  • Linux Containers (LXC, LXD, CGManager)
  • Windows Server Containers

2. What is Virtual Machine (VMs)?

Virtual Machine (VMs) are not lightweight like Containers because VMs are heavy software packages that provide complete emulation of a physical computer (CPU, Disk and Networking devices). VMs are technology for building virtualize computing environment.

VMs interact with physical computers by using lightweight software layers called hypervisors which can separate VMs from one another and allocate processors, memory, and storage among them.


Virtual Machines Architecture (VMs). Source: Microsoft

2.1 Pros

Lower hardware costs: Some of businesses do not have the need to use fully utilize their hardware resources. Therefore, they can spin up virtual servers instead rather than investing in another server

Low security: VMs pose data security threats when multiple users try to access the same or different VMs on the same physical host

2.2 Cons

Not as portable: Moving virtual machines across data centers or the cloud will be harder rather than containers. The applications runs on VMs hat is highly dependent on the OS and the emulated hardware it runs on

Storage size cost: They can grow quickly to Gigabytes in size, therefore, this will lead to disk space shortage issues on the VMs host machine and take up a lot of storage space

2.3 Use-cases

  • Server consolidation.
  • Performance-sensitive workloads.
  • Development and test environments.
  • Multi-hypervisor and hybrid environments.
  • Technical workstations.

2.4 Popular Virtual Machines (VMs) Providers:

There are some popular VMs providers in the world such as:

  • VMware
  • VirtualBox
  • Hyper-V
  • KVM

3. What are the differences?

Virtual Machines (VMs) is that containers only virtualize software layers above the operating system level and Containers virtualize an entire machine down to the hardware layers.


The differences between Containers and Virtual Machine (VMs)

A table below will show specifically the differences between containers and virtual machines as follow:


Source: Microsoft

4. Which is the best solution for business?

For business, depending on scale system and demands, they can choose the suitable solution for their business. Certainly, understanding the problem of the business is cost optimization and quality products. Sun Container Spinner is the best solution for SMes and Enterprises.

Sun Container Spinner (free trial) provides important features for container life cycle and encapsulates them into one package template: Container, Data Storage, HA/Scaling Policy and a nice feature by Sunteco Cloud: Life Cycle Management (rollback/roll-forward). Therefore, SMes and Enterprises can move them between on-prems/clouds.


Sun Container Spinner Components from Sunteco Cloud

Besides, SMes and Enterprises can deploy the containers anywhere with the support of Container Spinner Engine. That doesn’t impact to existing customer solutions, but enhance them and make the life easier. Additional, SMes and Enterprises can simply deploy single or multiple containers or entire system into Sunteco Cloud to have the Sun Container Spinner benefits and more.

5. Next steps

If you’re ready to delve even deeper into the topic of Sunteco, check out the free trial below:

  • Try out Sun Container Spinner and you will have the promo for $100 when creating an new account
  • Try out some Sunteco Cloud products on Sun Pricing