<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=443149619225659&ev=PageView&noscript=1"> What Do Shipping Containers and Software Have in Common?

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What Do Shipping Containers and Software Have in Common?

What Do Shipping Containers and Software Have in Common?

Do you ever have to depend on the skills of others? From getting your car serviced to getting a root canal, the quick answer should be a resounding “yes.” We also must depend on the skills of others as we work; certain people have different skill sets. But what if one mishap from a team member creates catastrophic companywide failure? Well, welcome to the world of software development, or rather, the way things used to work.

Deploying software in the past was dependent upon complicated instructions to a system administrator to ensure all the changes were made that would allow the new software to run. A relatively new concept, software containerization is the idea of taking all the parts and pieces of software and putting it inside a clean and tidy package; it’s a container with everything one needs inside. Often compared with actual shipping containers, there are many reasons why containerization helps software development, as always, here are our insights.

Reduces the Possibility of Error

Software containerization reduces the possibility of error because miscommunication is eliminated. Containerization makes the development machine and the production setup identical. Before this, system administrators would have to manually copy all the correct files, run the correct scripts to change the database, and install various components to make it all work. See where mistakes could happen and finger pointing could occur? The container holds everything needed to work seamlessly. Imagine one packaging up an entire shipping container and sending it to you across the ocean. When it’s opened, everything is the way it was when it was sent off. Starting to see the shipping container analogies?

Containers Are Less Dependent on Certain Technologies

Since containers have everything a developer needs, one doesn’t need to stress about obtaining certain technologies to run it. Everything runs virtually and can be used across a variety of platforms. Tapping back into the shipping containers analogy, the containers can be placed on different ships, regardless of make and model. Either way, the containers can be opened and worked on from one ship to another.  This way, things become less complicated and any worker on any ship can open and work with what’s in the container.

Containers Act as a Safeguard

With software containerization the catastrophe scenario is a thing of the past. The issue with traditional deployment is system administrators put more than one application on a server to make things easier and when one of those applications went down, impending server doom would soon follow. Software containerization enables deployment orchestration, so that if the proverbial ship goes down with all the containers, everything can be easily reassembled since every container is unique; it’s like having a shipping manifest.

Software containerization and shipping containers aren’t so different from one another. They both act as a safeguard in case of catastrophe; the contents of the container can be replaced and redeployed if disaster strikes. Slip ups are less likely since one party packages everything together and sails it over to the other. Upon arrival, all the contents are in the exact same place as when they left, taking out any room for error.

Finally, containers work on various technologies and aren’t limited to makes and models. This universality allows any developer the ability to work on any platform. The big takeaway from software containerization is that it allows better built software. Taking out the room for errors and providing a way for developers to universally access work saves not only time and energy, it helps teams to create truly inspiring innovations. 

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About the author

With a background in business and as a weekend studio potter, Brian White’s unique experiences fuse his creative passion with technical problem solving, bringing software solutions into form. As a senior solutions architect, he questions the status quo and asks if there’s a better way to do something. Brian is a self-taught developer who has worked on projects across many industries and technologies since 2001. He has juggled many roles as a full stack developer - having a hand in everything from requirements to architecture, testing to deployment. Since moving to Small Footprint in 2012, Brian has blended his attention to detail from the developer-side with a keen understanding of the business and technology needs of his clients.
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