Technical, but important.

Containers are the new VM.

This is a great intro and overview to a (the next) new wave of deploying computer operating systems.

The industry standard today is to use Virtual Machines (VMs) to run software applications. VMs run applications inside a guest Operating System, which runs on virtual hardware powered by the server’s host OS.

VMs are great at providing full process isolation for applications: there are very few ways a problem in the host operating system can affect the software running in the guest operating system, and vice-versa. But this isolation comes at great cost — the computational overhead spent virtualizing hardware for a guest OS to use is substantial.

Containers take a different approach: by leveraging the low-level mechanics of the host operating system, containers provide most of the isolation of virtual machines at a fraction of the computing power.

What we are talking about is running a computer on a computer…. Well, sort of… In fact, we are running part of a computer on a full computer…. No, that’s not really any better is it?
Ok, we have a full blown computer which needs an operating system, its there and running, but then you run a program (a container) that is another computer.
So yeah, the program is another instance of a computer. So in the end, you have two computers running on the one computer. Double your fun for one instance of hardware…. Oh, and of course you can run more than one container on a computer.

This is a really big deal.

Gary, you will be pleased to know;

Containers are still Linux-only for now, but Microsoft is hard at work on its own implementation, called Windows Server Containers.

Everyone will get in on this. Not Joe Public, but most computer guys will end up running this at some point in their life I suspect. Sooner rather than latter.

Just how light weight is a container?
Here is a nice how-to for running one on a Raspberry Pi.

Yeah, two computers running on a Pi. Thats impressive.

Now, if I could just trade my hard drive for another life so I had time to mess with this stuff……