Software-revolutionizing container technology and its business benefits have remained relatively unknown to business decision-makers. This is no wonder, as containers have become too technical an exercise. Even most IT professionals don’t yet understand what they are all about.

Container technology will cause a much bigger revolution than server virtualization and cloud services. Container technology cannibalizes core cloud business, and major cloud providers are not keen to promote it before they have created an adequate lock-in mechanism.

Simply put, containers together with so-called microservices split software into blocks, each running one part of the software. These blocks, or containers, can be moved one by one into the cloud, from one cloud to another and back, or from a data center to cloud and back – just like a standard shipping container can be moved around the world from one mode of transport to another.

The contents of an individual container make no difference at all, and containers containing different software code will not interfere with each other in any way. If problems occur in one container, it can be instantly replaced with another properly functioning container. Pretty agile, wouldn’t you say?

But does this concern businesses in general? Yes! Containers at their best entirely eliminate cloud vendor lock-ins. When software is run in containers, it will operate identically in any environment.

Why do servers disappear from sight?

Container technology is one manifestation in a powerful trend that steers all IT development: the rising level of abstraction.

A consumer doesn’t care which cloud runs some smartphone app. The server platform of this blog is irrelevant for you as the reader and for me as the author. Now, when a company buys servers from a cloud they disappear from sight in a sense. Next, servers will disappear from the sight of software developers, as software is run in containers.

Thanks to abstraction, everyone is able to focus on what is essential to their roles as users of technology.

So, what is the big deal here for businesses? The rising level of abstraction and containers together pave the way for increased IT productivity, and through it, increased productivity in the entire business.

The rise of abstraction and disruptive technologies motivated me when I founded Kontena in 2015. We built a so-called container platform. Our solution helps companies achieve clear savings, because a higher level of abstraction improves the efficiency of developing new software solutions and running them in production.

How can a business benefit from containers?

Container technology holds a lot of promise, but in reality, it may turn out to be a time sink for software developers. If this happens, containers won’t give the company a competitive edge. However, this doesn’t have to be the case, if the company follows my thesis:

  1. Running containers requires a platform.
  2. There are many alternative platforms in the market with huge differences between them.
  3. Don’t blindly choose a platform that is used by the biggest Fortune 500 companies in the world unless you are one of them. After all, you don’t choose a database technology by aping the company using the largest database in the world either. Such technology is probably too complicated and may require hundreds of people for development and maintenance.
  4. The platform’s level of abstraction must be high enough. Then all resources can be directed towards the right thing: to develop software solutions running on the platform.

If the fourth point is realized, the company gains an edge, because the platform strips complexity from technology and facilitates the work of developers. The higher the level of abstraction becomes, the more productivity can improve. The results can be seen at our client companies.

Case: Finavia

One of the hundreds of organizations using Kontena is Finavia, which operates the largest airports in Finland. Within Finavia, the adoption of container technology was developer-led, as is often the case with containers. However, along with the development teams all of Finavia and its partner network reap the benefits.

Finavia hadn’t tried container technology until they discovered Kontena. The decisive factor was our solution’s low barrier for entry to explore exciting new technologies and progressing towards production. According to the feedback I’ve received, Finavia saves money in several different ways, because their use of resources has become more efficient.

Previously, the developers at Finavia were also dependent on in-house server capacity, which caused delays and was expensive. Kontena was a turning point: it enabled Finavia to start using cloud. Now the employees are able to achieve much more than before.

You, too, can start using Kontena’s services here.

About Kontena Inc.

Kontena Inc. is specialized in creating the most developer friendly solution for running containers. Kontena's products are built on open source technology developed and maintained by Kontena. Kontena was founded in 2015 and has offices in Helsinki, Finland and New York, USA. More information: www.kontena.io.

Photo by Tim Easley on Unsplash.