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How is containerization different from virtualization?

By Techopedia Staff | Last updated: July 6, 2020
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While virtualization is a general strategy for getting more out of in-house hardware resources, containerization is a specific type of hardware virtualization. Containerization has emerged as an alternative to a traditional kind of virtualization that uses hypervisors to split physical resources into virtual machines.

Instead of creating virtual machines and partitioning hardware resources that way, containerization seeks to construct various data containers at an operating system level. That means the containers will share an operating system, unlike virtual machines, each of which has a cloned operating system to itself.

In some cases, containerization can be a more accessible or easy form of virtualization. It can be easier to set up the containers than to try to split resources like CPU and memory between many virtual machines. Containerization tools like Docker assist managers in creating container virtualization systems. Now, IT professionals debate whether containerization or hypervisor virtualization is the superior method. Some call containers a kind of "thin client" approach to virtualization, because they may be deployed with less bulk than virtual machines.

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