Home Container Containerization vs Virtualization | Everything you need to know

Containerization vs Virtualization | Everything you need to know


In this article, you will get to know the concept of Containerization and Virtualization. Containerization is one of the substitutes of full machine virtualization. It employs many isolated services on one platform; on the other hand, Virtualization is the process of designing a version of anything virtual in nature.

Let’s go in deep

What is Virtualization?

It is a general approach for getting out of in-house hardware assets. In the beginning, this technique was a revelation because it allowed developers to run multiple OS(Operating system) in different VMs (virtuals machines) all running on the same host. This dissolved the need for extra hardware resources. 

Let’s have a look at some Pros-

  • Multiple OS can run at the same time
  • Easy recovery and maintenance in a condition of failure case
  • Due to less usage/need for infrastructure total cost of ownership came down

Architecture of Virtualization

In the above diagram, you can see there one host OS on which there are three guest OS systems running, which are VMs.

Though Virtualization also has some shortcomings. Running multiple VMs at the same time on Host OS leads to performance breakdown/degradation. The reason behind this is because the guest OS runs on the top of host OS, which will have its own kernel and dependencies, this takes up a large mass of system resources like Hard Disk, Processor and RAM.

These are some Cons of Virtualization – 

  • Unstable performance because of running multiple VMs
  • The efficiency of Hypervisors is not as good as the host OS
  • Long boot-up time 

What is Containerization?

Containerization is a strategy of bringing Virtualization to the OS-level. Though Virtualization is an abstraction to the hardware, containerization brings abstraction of OS. Containerization is more efficient because there is no guest OS to utilize a host’s OS and do not have to share relevant libraries and resources, unlike virtual machines. Containers works on bare-metal systems, cloud instances, and virtual machines, across Linux, Windows, and Mac. Containerization is a lightweight alternative to full machine virtualization that involves encapsulating an application in a container with its OS. Containerization boots up in a fraction of seconds; this is because Container shares host OS and holds only those application which is related to binaries and libraries. 

Architecture of Containerization

In the above diagram, as you see, there is one host OS shared by all containers. Containers only contain applications specific to libraries that are isolated from other containers leading to no wastage of resources. This makes the container deployments faster and more reliable.

Read more about Container Services:

  1. Is Docker a real game changer for Container Management?
  2. Why Kubernetes? – 11 benefits that simplifies container management
  3. Kubernetes vs Docker | A Complete breakdown

There are noticeable differences between these two terms, which are as follows: 

1. The advantage of multiple copies: one of the major points that differentiate these two processes is containers’ temporary behavior. Many copies of a container can exist at the same time in a system like orchestration. If any containers failed, one can remove that and replace it, and there will be no change or impact on service. Older versions can exist at the same time with the new versions. Removal and replacement of the new versions can be done easily if any operation gets failed. 

2. Scaling related workloads: There is a vast difference between the scalability of a containerized workload and a virtual workload. The containers contain only those services which are basic in nature and which their functions require, but among those services, one can be a web server like Nginx and virtualization workload system, like cabernets, having the capability of judging that when there is a need of scaling out the number of containers based on the sequence of traffic follows and can copy the images of the container on its own and also remove them from the system.

3. Foundation for running an application: the Linux containers format is the foundation for containerization format. So, containerization can only run the Linux application as it will support only the Linux environment.

4. Using microservices architecture: Google firstly uses the architecture “microservices” and then by Netflix. One can operate these systems without excluding any single application. In the form of functions, they perform small workloads that may be contacted through API, and they perform different functions. These functions can be seen in traditional applications, although many applications can perform the same functions on repeat.

Containerization vs Virtualization: Which one is better!

The assurance of which is better in Containers versus Virtual Machines (VMs) relies upon your objective. However, virtualization empowers remaining tasks at hand to keep running in situations that are isolated from their basic equipment by a layer of reflection. This reflection enables servers to be separated into VMs that can run distinctive working frameworks. 

Container innovation offers an elective strategy for Virtualization, in which a solitary working framework on a host can run a wide range of users from the cloud. One approach to consider Containers versus VMs is that while VMs run a few distinctive working frameworks on one process hub, while containers offer the chance to virtualize the working framework itself.


Containerization and Virtualization differ in many ways, but the primary difference is that containers provide a way to virtualize an OS to run multiple workloads in a single OS instance. With VMs, the hardware is virtualized to run multiple OS instances. The speed, agility, and portability of the container make it another tool to streamline software development.

Cloud Evangelist
Cloud Evangelist
Cloud Evangelists are CMI's in house ambassadors for the entire Cloud ecosystem. They are responsible for propagating the doctrine of cloud computing and help community members make informed decisions.


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