Which groups of people do containers benefit? More than you might think. Containers help not just developers and admins, but people who fill several other roles as well.
Containers (and Docker containers, in particular) first became popular among developers and admins. These groups benefit from containers in several ways:
- Containers make software environments consistent, which reduces the amount of environment variables developers have to worry about when writing code.
- Consistent software environments also make admins’ jobs easier because they do not have to handle multiple deployment configurations.
- Containers start and stop faster than virtual machines. This makes containerized applications easier to deploy.
How Containers Help Other Groups: Software Testers, Users and More
The benefits of containers are not limited to those outlined above. In addition to developers and admins, containers also help the following groups:
- Software testers. Quality Assurance teams responsible for making sure that applications perform as expected benefit tremendously from the environment consistency that containers offer. Fewer environment variables translate to more predictability and reliability in software performance. In addition, QA teams can use containers to deploy testing software like Selenium.
- Bosses. Containers can help save money. They do this in several ways. First, because you can typically fit more containerized applications on a single host server than you could virtual machines, containers allow you to use your infrastructure more efficiently. Second, Docker is free in all senses of the word; the platform itself doesn’t cost money. (Support services or integrated Docker environments may cost extra, but you can use Docker without these things.) Third, because Docker helps you ship software faster, it improves the overall efficiency of business operations. In all of these ways, Docker can help bosses worried about the bottom line.
- Security teams (and DevSecOps folks). Containers are not immune to security challenges. However, they can help improve security in certain ways. By using containers to break an application into microservices, you can reduce the size of attack vectors and mitigate the affects of a breach. Environment consistency also helps to improve security because it reduces the number of variables that could introduce a vulnerability.
- Users. Users tend not to feature prominently in discussions of containers—which is strange, because without users, there would be no point to shipping software in the first place. Containers help users by increasing the pace of software innovation, facilitating faster updates and improving performance.
The bottom line: Containers are for everyone. You don’t have to be a developer or admin, or even somewhere who works with software, to benefit from containers.