Containers: A new variation on virtualization

Tuesday - 7/15/2014, 7:55pm EDT

Chris Carlson, CEO, Retriever Consulting

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July 15, 2014 -- This week on "Federal Tech Talk", host John Gilroy interviews Chris Carlson, CEO of Retriever Consulting.

Most listeners are familiar with virtualization when it comes to servers or, perhaps, desktops. Today we'll take a look at a new aspect of virtualization - a concept called containers.

Here is the problem that federal information professionals face: they are getting strongly encouraged to move applications to the cloud. They are also strongly encouraged to use agile software development methodologies.

The problem is that if you are a project leader and want to move an app to the cloud you must first go through multiple tests, then pre-production environments, then into production.

Each step along the way can cause a team to conflict. The developers bump heads with the testers and the operations people don't communicate clearly to the developers.

One solution is to put together an application into a small container that is portable. That way, an developer can send this container to the testers and not have to worry about setting up a test environment on a server.

Using containers allows for continuous delivery because the DevOps team doesn't have to set up an entire operating system just to test an application. They can use Docker to put that application into a closed environment that just uses the part of the operating system that is relevant.