Container workloads are widely used throughout public cloud computing environments and are an increasingly popular way to deploy application code in production environments. Container technology is not necessarily a new technology; in fact, its roots can be traced back to the 1970s, when Unix systems were used to isolate application code.

Today, containerization is much more advanced and synonymous with tools like Docker and Kubernetes. Cloud providers have adopted container runtimes into cloud computing because they are a more efficient way of deploying cloud resources across private, public, and multi-cloud environments.

What Are Containers in Cloud Computing?

A container is a lightweight, executable unit of software that packages an application’s code and dependencies (libraries, runtime environment, system tools) into a standardized unit. Containers are unique because they can run reliably across different environments within an isolated environment.

Containers are lightweight because they share the host operating system kernel. This makes them extremely quick to boot, and typically, the container packages are available in small package sizes. The container images behave like application templates; they only have all the components needed to run.

Most containers adhere to standardized specifications, like Docker containers, which are portable between cloud computing providers. However, the container runs in isolation using its own processes, filesystem, and networking—thus preventing conflicts and reducing security threats.

What Is a Container Example?

If you have never used containers before, it can be difficult to understand the concept and how they work. Let’s consider a real-world example to help demonstrate what a container is.

Containers are very popular in website applications. Consider your favorite online retailer. The online store will have multiple different features, such as product search, shopping cart management, account management, and payment processing.

As the user, you see the front-end website; all you are concerned about is the user experience and making your purchase. However, behind the scenes, multiple software containers (or microservices architecture) work together to create and power the user experience.

The online retailer likely uses a container for the product, another for account management, more for payments, and so on. In fact, multiple containers are used to create the website, and these containers scale up to handle the website load on demand.

If the website’s payment processing section experiences issues, engineers and developers can isolate that part of the web application and release a fix for the issue. The rest of the website’s microservices are not affected, and other users would have no idea there is an issue.

Benefits & Use Cases of Containers

There are many business benefits to using containers in cloud computing. Here are some of the most common reasons why businesses choose to adopt containers for applications.


Containers are lightweight, typically less than 100 MB in size. This gives developers the added agility needed to create and build applications frequently, speeding up the development team’s work and improving the software development lifecycle. Thousands upon thousands of pre-made, containerized environment images can be pulled from a public or private registry and deployed anywhere in seconds.


Containers are unique because you can deploy them to almost any environment. You don’t need to worry about anything else apart from the container image. Before containers went mainstream, teams would need to build virtual machines for testing, development, and production. Today, containers can be created once and then pulled to anywhere they’re needed. It doesn’t matter what language your application is created in; there is a containerized runtime to deploy and release to.

Resource Efficiency

Containers are very efficient for several reasons. They have a smaller footprint, eliminating the need for separate operating systems, drivers, etc. Cgroups can be assigned to a container to efficiently allocate resources, kind of like quality of service for microservices. You can also run many more containers on a single instance, potentially running multiple applications using minimal CPU, Disk, and Memory.


Scaling and containers go hand in hand. It’s so easy to scale up and down on demand. Triggers can be created that spin up more containers, for example, when CPU load hits 75%. Scaling features a minimum and maximum threshold and a desired configuration. This is to prevent containers from scaling out of control and perhaps saturating a downstream database.

Fast Startup Times

Startup speeds are generally significantly faster when using a container instead of a VM or VPS. This is because they are so lightweight. The execution code is also typically much faster within a container environment; optimized code will run much faster in a container.

Improved Developer Experience

Containers allow businesses to create consistent working environments for developers, which results in faster coding, testing, and debugging (and happy developers!). Combine this with fast startup times. Devs can deploy and destroy containers in seconds and test instantly. Containers also need fewer dependencies and are fantastic in hybrid cloud and native development teams.

Faster Deployment Process

Containers promote faster deployments through standardized packaging, rapid startup times, automation with orchestration tools, and seamless integration with CI/CD pipelines. This allows for quicker updates, easier rollbacks, and a more agile development process

Cost Optimization Features

Containers are cheaper to run because you require less host hardware to deploy containers than you would if using virtual machines or physical hardware. Right-sizing applications easier, so you don’t waste resources and overspend on your cloud budget.

Containers also speed up the development process, introducing cost savings there, too. During quiet periods, the application can be scaled right back to save on wasted computing costs.

Microservices Architecture Support

Microservices packaged neatly in containers offer a perfect fit for modular cloud containers, enabling independent development, testing, and deployment. This creates scalability at the service level, allowing for precise resource allocation and improved fault tolerance.

With the flexibility to develop microservices in different programming languages coupled with standardized packaging and deployment through containers, businesses benefit from streamlined workflows and enhanced portability across diverse environments.

Managing Containerized Applications

Managing a containerized application is straightforward with the right tools and understanding of containerization principles. Containers provide a consistent environment for applications to run, making it easier to deploy and manage them compared to VMs or instances.

With container orchestration platforms like Kubernetes or Docker Swarm, managing containerized applications becomes even easier. However, it’s important to remember that managing a containerized application still requires knowledge of container technology, networking, security, and monitoring practices.

It’s essential to understand how to configure and optimize container resources, manage dependencies, make configuration files, handle data persistence, and troubleshoot issues that may arise.

Is Kubernetes a Container?

Kubernetes is not a container itself; it is an orchestration platform. Container orchestration platforms automate the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications, typically across a set of clusters or hosts.

Kubernetes doesn’t create or directly run the containers in cloud computing, but it coordinates and runs the schedules containers rely on to remain efficient, reliable, and secure.

Kubernetes is an open-source application, sometimes called a control plane, responsible for the efficiency and management of containers, including scaling and lifecycle options. It works great in complex environments that run large numbers of interconnected containers.

What Is the Difference Between a VM and a Container?

Virtual machines and containers are both virtualization technologies but they are very different. A VM is a software emulation of a physical computer that includes the operating system, virtual hardware, and any required application. VMs are a proven technology that has been mainstream for the last 20 years. VMs create isolated environments abstracted from the host operating system and underlying hardware itself. The only downside, especially when compared to the containers, is that VMs are big, bulky, and hog resources in comparison.

In contrast, a container is a lightweight package containing an application and its dependencies. It shares the underlying operating system of the host machine but runs in isolation from other containers. This makes containers portable and fast to start up since they don’t need to boot a separate OS.

Running Containers on Atlantic.Net

Containerized applications and workloads can be deployed effortlessly on the Atlantic.Net Cloud Platform. Spanning eight strategically located data centers throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, leverage our highly reliable virtual private servers to deploy your application on our Linux container environments.

We support popular container runtimes like Docker, offering you the flexibility to choose the tools that best suit your needs. Whether you’re running on Linux, Windows, or Unix, our container platform always ensures reliable service.

Join us today and discover the simplicity of containerized applications. Unlock the power and flexibility of running containers on the ACP cloud platform and unlock new possibilities for your cloud-native applications.

We even offer super simple 1-click Docker deployments, and our blog has extensive documentation on how to run various types of Docker containers on ACP

Don’t miss out on this opportunity – get started now!